A scheme to help distressed mortgage holders in their dealings with the AIB group has resulted in more than 1,300 long-term resolutions being reached in the past year.

A year ago the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation entered into an arrangement to act as a third-party broker to advise distressed borrowers in their dealings with the AIB group.

Today, the IMHO has produced figures showing that in its first year it agreed 1,330 long-term resolutions for people in mortgage arrears.

It said between 75 and 100 of those deals involved debt write-down on family home mortgages of €1,000-€190,000, where the families were allowed to continue living in their homes.

A further 279 resolutions included debt write-down involving properties that were then voluntarily sold, with most of these in the buy-to-let sector.

AIB said the scheme, which is free, has delivered significantly for customers who might not otherwise have engaged with the bank.

It has now decided to extend the scheme for another 12 months, with an expanded team.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has voiced concern about the European Central Bank’s attitude to the proposed new rules on mortgages.

The head of the ECB's new bank supervision arm has cautioned against making bank loans more accessible to house buyers in Ireland.

Danièle Nouy said she agreed with the Central Bank of Ireland's tougher new deposit requirement rules, which propose a buyer deposit of 20% and new guidelines on the loan-to-income ratio.

However, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Hayes outlined his concerns for first time buyers if tougher rules are implemented:

He said: "Given the fact that many people, first-time buyers have been paying inordinate rent for the last few years, that should be taken into consideration, [and] their savings patterns should be taken into consideration.

"And I think unless we resolve this issue, there will be a clear bias in favour of cash buyers over first time buyers and that is something I don't think we should countenance."