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02/14/2018 12:00:00 AM


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Healy, Seamus

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Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage
Bills\Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018\Second Stage

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Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018

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Senator


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Deputy Seamus Healy

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Seamus Healy

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Snippet Contents:

I compliment Deputy Pearse Doherty and Sinn Féin on bringing forward the Central Bank (Amendment) Bill 2018. I support its passage through the House. I support any measure which would help put manners on the banks. Light-touch regulation means no regulation, as we have seen through the years. Senior bankers have no moral compass and simply cannot be trusted. The banks have a 30-year history of scandal with deposit interest retention tax, DIRT, Ansbacher accounts, bogus non-resident accounts, and so on. They caused the destruction of this country during the boom and bust period, received a bailout of €64 billion from the citizens which resulted in significant austerity imposed on the same citizens. In more recent times, we have had the significant scandal of the tracker mortgage fraud.
The banks have shown they simply have no regard for ordinary, decent and respectable families who found themselves in difficulty during the recession and currently. They have hounded these families, creating fear, ill health and mental illness for them, as well as leading to suicide in some cases. They have done this by insisting on voluntary surrender, voluntary sale, repossession and eviction. The banks should be stopped from repossessing family homes. The Government could make a start on this as it does not need new legislation to do so. It can simply instruct the two main banks which we own, Allied Irish Banks and Permanent TSB, to stop repossessing family homes.
The banks were already bailed out to the tune of €64 billion. They are being bailed out for a second time by mortgage holders who are paying 2% over the European interest rate norm. This has been discussed in the House before and should be dealt with urgently. The tracker mortgage scandal and fraud is significant and has done damage to families and to the country. Up to 15 banks are involved with €1 billion in costs and 40,000 mortgage holders affected. We know there has been collusion between the banks on this. The Governor of the Central Bank told an Oireachtas committee last year, "There is no doubt there is a systemic and widespread aspect to this". The tracker mortgage scandal and fraud requires a criminal investigation. The Government should send the fraud squad into the banks, even at this late stage. What we really need to do is to nationalise the banks for the people.