Carthy condemns EU vulture fund plan in Strasbourg
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has condemned the EU’s proposed Regulation and Directive on non-performing loans at a debate in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Carthy was speaking in advance of a vote on the Regulation requiring banks to reduce their level of future non-performing loans, which will take place tomorrow, Thursday. Sinn Féin MEPs will vote against the provisional agreement between the Parliament, Council and Commission on the Regulation (the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee has not yet adopted a position on the Directive).
Addressing parliament, the Midlands North West MEP said: “None of the arguments in favour of the Commission’s package on non-performing loans stand up to scrutiny.
“Its supporters say it will contribute to financial stability. How does moving billions of euros of bad debt into the unregulated shadow banking sector achieve that?
“Its supporters argue it will free up banks to lend to small businesses. All of the evidence shows that it is lack of demand in the economy, and not credit supply, that is limiting lending.
“Its supporters say we can achieve strengthened consumer protection in the Directive. In reality, the package will encourage the banks to throw their customers to the wolves, through the mass sell-offs of mortgages on family homes to vulture funds.
“This is exactly what is happening in Ireland, fuelling a housing and homelessness crisis. Supporters of this proposal cite the Irish experience with bad debt as a model to be replicated across the EU, when in reality it is an example of what needs to be avoided.
“The truth is this package is about returning banks to the situation where they can make massive profits again, without regard to the rights of their borrowers. We cannot support this package, as it won’t solve the problem of bad debt in the EU’s financial system. It will just move it into the shadows, while throwingfamilies in distress to the vultures.”
Speaking after the debate, Carthy added: “The process by which this Regulation was dealt with at the committee level was extremely disappointing, with the two largest groups, the EPP and S&D, colluding to prevent the smaller groups from having a meaningful say in shaping the report, and preventing us from even voting on the amendments of the smaller groups at committee level.
“Judging from the extremely short proposed timetable for the Directive, the two large groups intend to exclude the rest of the Parliament from having meaningful input into the Directive also. This is an appalling and anti-democratic approach to such a crucial proposal.” ENDS