Galway TD hits out at Taoiseach’s support for vulture funds

Galway Daily news Galway TD criticises Taoiseach for comments on vulture funds

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has come under fire for his stance that so-called vulture funds are better for homeowners than banks from a Galway TD.

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said it was “beyond belief” that the Taoiseach would defend  them.

Leo Varadkar had said that vulture funds are better at writing down debt for homeowners than banks which “extend and pretend” rather than coming to a settlement.

He added that homeowners would be no worse off if their mortgage was bought by such a fund.

“Any group, investment company or vulture fund that comes into this country and buys a loan book from a bank at massively reduced rates and then demands all of the money owed from the loanee, plus other expenses,  obviously doesn’t have much regard for the people of Ireland,” said Deputy Fitzmaurice.

What concerns the Galway-Roscommon TD about vulture funds is that he says its harder for a homeowner to reach a deal as they usually work through a middle-man he said,

“Let us be very clear, negotiation and a longer deal – in an awful lot of cases – is the only solution. But, unfortunately, this opportunity will not be afforded to these people.”

“Following his latest comments, it appears as if the Taoiseach has never sat in front of middle men in an effort to negotiate with vulture funds on the behalf of his constituents.”

The Taoiseach made his comments after Permanent TSB made a deal with Pepper Finance Corporation to sell 6,000 loans on the bank’s balance sheet.

Mr Varadkar said if they hadn’t sold the loans the bank would have needed government assistance.

Fine Gael is backing legislation from Fianna Fáil’s Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath to regulate these funds for the first time.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said the Taoiseach’s words showed the disconnect between his “privileged upbringing” and “the people who are faced with constant financial struggles on a daily basis in rural parts of Ireland.”