Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed the decision by senior personnel at KBC Bank to meet with him along with fellow Independent TD’s Michael Collins and Carol Nolan. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Oireachtas members engaged in a peaceful occupation of the banks premises on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin yesterday in order to demand a change in how the bank resolves cases involving mortgage distress:
“A meeting has been agreed for 9 January, 2019 at 2pm in Dublin. At that meeting Carol, Michael and myself will be demanding that the bank immediately review the protocols it has in place with respect to debt resolution processes.
We want to make it absolutely clear that we fully accept the legitimate right of the bank to recoup losses that it has incurred in terms of mortgage distress.
What we are saying however is that this right must be proportionate and it must be fair.
Above all it must not be implemented in such a way that it is then used to walk all over people that are making sincere and hard won attempts to engage constructively with their debt repayment obligations.
The vast majority of the people we are dealing with want to repay their debts. They are deeply responsible people who do not have an ‘everything for nothing’ approach and who profoundly resent being characterised in that light.
Where people are making sincere attempts, a reciprocal attitude needs to be adopted with respect to the banks.
They should avoid this endless and stressful merry-go-round that people experience when they are asked to constantly provide the same or similar documentation and who cannot speak to a dedicated person who is actually looking after their case.
People feel like they are being worn down by the tactics of some of the banks and that has to stop.
There has to be respect. That is what we are saying. We received similar commitments in March but nothing materialised despite our good faith acceptance that something positive would emerge.
This year we will not be allowing the bank to get away that kind of approach,” concluded Deputy McGrath.