Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has written to Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), Danièle Nouy, urging her or another senior representative of the Single Supervisor to visit Ireland to engage directly with members of the Oireachtas.
Carthy, a member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, was speaking following a letter from Ms Nouy to the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach, declining the Committee’s invitation to participate in a hearing on the treatment of non-performing loans.
The Sinn Féin MEP said: “Last month I participated in a hearing of Finance Committee on EU matters including the Commission and ECB’s views on the treatment of non-performing loans, where several Committee members expressed frustration that Ms Nouy had declined the invitation for direct engagement with the Committee.
“The recent moves by several Irish banks to sell portfolios of thousands of distressed loans, including split mortgages, to vulture funds has sparked a significant political debate, which has focused on the real-world impact of such sales on mortgage-holders and their families.
“For several months this debate has been marked by a lack of transparency from the banks involved and a lack of firm clarity from the EU and Irish supervisory authorities. There is obviously a value in direct interaction between Irish policymakers and the ECB’s central leadership representatives in discussing the ECB’s euro area guidance and supervision on the prudential treatment of non-performing loans.
“More generally, there is a need for further direct engagement by the ECB with the parliamentary representatives of Member States, in addition to members of the European Parliament, on broader issues of monetary policy and banking supervision. The ECB’s direct engagement with the national representatives of some Member States but not others has been disappointing.
“I welcome the public committee of the ECB President to address the Oireachtas at an unspecified time this year.
“I also urge the Chair of the ECB’s Supervisory Board to consider participating in future hearings of the Joint Committee dedicated to discussing the prudential treatment of non-performing loans by Irish banks.”