A group set up to help homeowners in mortgage difficulties has apologised after the names and bank details of over 1,000 customers were passed to an investment firm.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, co-founder of New Beginning Ross Maguire apologised and said he will cooperate fully with the Data Protection Commissioner.

The details were passed to investment firm Arizun with which New Beginning is seeking to partner.

A report in the Irish Mail on Sunday revealed that New Beginning received €20,000 plus VAT on the same day that Arizun received the data.

Mr Maguire told This Week that the data was sent by mistake in an email to a partner firm and when the mistake was discovered the firm agreed to delete the email.

He apologised for not contacting clients immediately when the mistake was discovered and said he will write to the people affected tomorrow .

Mr Maguire said it was a mistake and hoped it would not damage the ability of New Beginning to do its work.