Borrower says Mars Capital Ireland's claims on website are 'confusing'

Friday 15 August 2014 11.50
Mars Capital Ireland administers a tranche of mortgages which were bought by Oaktree
Mars Capital Ireland administers a tranche of mortgages which were bought by Oaktree

A company which is administering mortgages bought from the former Irish Nationwide has been criticised for confusing borrowers about whether it is regulated in Ireland.

Mars Capital Ireland is administering a large tranche of the mortgages which were bought by US group Oaktree. 

Mars’ British operation is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. However, that regulation does not extend to its activities in Ireland.

The Mars Capital Ireland website says that "the ongoing administration of the mortgages will primarily be undertaken in Dublin and overseen by Mars Capital Finance Limited".

"Mars Capital Finance Limited was established in 2008 to administer mortgages purchased from financial institutions in the United Kingdom and is authorised and regulated as a mortgage lender and mortgage administrator by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom," the website continues.

A Mars spokesman said that the Mars Capital Ireland website does not say Mars Capital Ireland is regulated by the FCA.

One of the mortgage borrowers, Martin Byrne - a mature law student - has criticised the statements on the website.

He says the statements "are deceptive in that they give the reader a sense of security regarding the firm in general - in the sense that Mars Capital Ireland is indirectly associated with the UK’s FCA. However, any sense of security is purely illusory."

"After contacting the FCA, the UK based financial regulation body, informed me that they have no jurisdiction whatsoever in matters concerning Irish mortgage-holders, nor can they investigate any complaints from Irish mortgage-holders," M Byrne added,

Separately, the Mars Capital Ireland has said it would volunteer to abide by the Central Bank’s code of conduct on mortgage arrears. However, as it is not regulated by the bank it is not bound by the code.