Donegal TD Pearse Doherty has said that banks should not be allowed to make a buck from the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been widespread calls for banks to stop misleading customers and the government on mortgage interest fees.
The Central Bank of Ireland and the European Banking Authority (EBA) have both confirmed that banks were not required to charge additional interest on Covid-19 mortgage breaks. However, nearly 80,000 mortgage-borrowers hit by Covid-19 stand to be charged additional interest.
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has accused the previous government of being asleep at the wheel:
“The minutes of the meeting between the former Taoiseach and the CEOs of the five retail banks are clear,” he said.
“The banks misinformed the former Taoiseach and the Minister of Finance when they said that they were required by the regulator to charge additional interest on mortgage breaks.”
The issue was raised in the Dáil on Wednesday, as An Taoiseach Micheal Martin vowed to tackle the banks on the matter.
Doherty continued: “The Covid penalty for customers taking a mortgage break needs to end. The fact is that the banks are charging nearly twice the interest rate of banks across Europe; costing families under pressure thousands of euro.
“Banks should not be allowed to profiteer on the back of the pandemic and it beggars belief that Leo Varadkar believes that banks won’t profit from this rip-off.”