Permanent TSB expects to repossess between 2,000 and 4,000 homes

Wednesday 09 April 2014 17.12
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PTSB expects to repossess a total of between 2,000 and 4,000 homes as a result of the mortgage crisis
PTSB expects to repossess a total of between 2,000 and 4,000 homes as a result of the mortgage crisis
In the three months to the end of March the bank has lent €105m in mortgages
In the three months to the end of March the bank has lent €105m in mortgages

Permanent TSB has told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that it expects to repossess a total of between 2,000 and 4,000 homes as a result of the mortgage crisis.

Shane O'Sullivan, Managing Director at the bank's Asset Management & Non-Core Units division, said the repossessions would consist of mostly buy-to-let and some family homes. 

Last year the bank repossessed 60 homes but said it expects that figure will reach the hundreds this year. 

The bank told the committee that it has initiated legal proceedings against 1,500 customers in the past three months. 

The committee hearings on mortgage arrears and the resolution process being offered by banks to those in mortgage distress continues today.

Ulster Bank's chief executive Jim Brown appeared before the committee yesterday while AIB's David Duffy appeared this afternoon.

Permanent TSB's chief executive Jeremy Masding told the Finance Committee that the bank has offered "long term treatment arrangements" to 61% of customers in arrears.

This was better than the target laid down by the Central Bank for offering solutions to 50% of customers in arrears. 

Mr Masding also said that the bank lent €105m in mortgages in the three months to the end of March this year.

A year ago, he said, the comparable figure for the first quarter was just €14m - an almost eight-fold increase in 12 months.

He also said at the end of 2012/start of 2013, PTSB accounted for just 4% of the mortgage approvals that were given in the market. At the end of January last, he said the bank accounted for 20% of those approvals. 

Mr Masding said that the past 12 months have been transformative for the Permanent TSB Group, adding that the bank has made very significant progress on re-entering the retail market particularly in mortgages and current accounts.

Mr O'Sullivan told the Committee that split mortgages are a a good resolution for both the lender and the borrower. He said that the bank has offered 7,000 split mortgages to its customers, adding that PTSB is focused on affordability and sustainability. 

Mr O'Sullivan also said that it was disappointing that the bank had not been able to put "mortgage to rent" arrangements in place. He said that the process is fraught, and the criteria is a little out of date. 

Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath asked about the legal proceedings being pursued by PTSB against mortgage customers. He said that PTSB has 10,000 people heading down the road of losing their home but yet the bank has offered no mortgage to rent arrangements to date. 

Mr O'Sullivan told the committee that he would caution against saying that 10,000 people are in danger of losing their homes. He said the issuing of a legal letter can encourage the mortgage holder to engage with the bank, adding that 35% of the people who have received legal letters have engaged and 70% of those have arrived at a sustainable solution.