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Consumer Protection on the Sale of Loan Books – On Regulation Watch

01 August 2014

On 21st July 2014 the Department of Finance opened a five (5) week public consultation process to consider the issue and options available to the Irish Government in context of regulating purchasers of mortgage loans (www.finance.gov.ie/news-centre).  Whilst NAMA is the largest loan/debt vendor in Ireland, a number of credit institutions are engaged in the process of loan or asset portfolio disposals of challenged and non-performing loans and it is expected that a number of such portfolios will come to the market before the end of 2014.

Under the current financial services regulatory regime, when a loan book is sold by a regulated financial institution to an unregulated entity, the unregulated purchaser is not bound by the Central Bank Codes and consumer protective processes.  These include; 

• Code of Conduct of Mortgage Arrears;
• Consumer Protection Code;
• Code of Conduct for business lending to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises; and
• Financial Services Ombudsman.

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