Following their sit in at the Friends First Headquarters in December 2012 and their subsequent meeting with the Chairman of the Irish Banking Federation, Mr. Pat Farrell, Independent TD Mattie McGrath along with representatives of the Farming Contractors of Ireland Association met with Central Bank of Ireland Officials this week to discuss the upholding of the Central Banks Code of Conduct for Business lending to SME’s by banking institutions throughout the Country.
The Central Bank Officials included Bernard Sheridan, Director of Consumer Protection, Terry Murhpy, Senior Regulator Consumer Protection, Banking & Policy and Mr. Mark Ward, Consumer Protection, Banking & Policy.
“Following our meeting with the Irish Banking Federation where we were given a commitment that all banks would be reminded of their responsibility under the code of conduct for lending to SME’s, we held a subsequent meeting with the regulator and director of consumer protection of the Central Bank to try and get a commitment that this matter is being taken seriously and that anyone that finds themselves in debt will not be treated in an unfavourable manner by a lending institution.” Said Deputy McGrath
“We had a very long discussion and the Central Bank Officials seemed genuinely shocked by some of the practices of the banks. They gave a commitment to examine the matter and to come back to us within a month. We are confident that we can get further commitments on this matter to ensure that Banks are forced to adhere to their code of conduct.”
“This matter needs to be taken seriously for the sake of all those who find themselves in financial difficulty and we look forward to our follow up meeting with the Central Bank next month,” said Deputy McGrath.