ECB chief Mario Draghi (front centre) addressing a joint Oireachtas committee yesterday
With an average interest rate of 3.15% compared to a Euro zone average rate of 1.77%…
…Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank – addressing the Oireachtas Finance Committee – described the lending market here as being in a ‘monopoly or quasi-monopoly situation’.
…The ECB chief also rejected suggestions that the bank presses member state lenders to dispose of non-performing loans in fire sales.
He was responding to Sinn Fein’s Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty who asked if the ECB was pressuring banks to sell NPLs onto vulture funds.
Mr Draghi said the ECB didn’t have a preference as to how the banks reduce their problem loan levels. He said they have to examine the details of all proposals, including, as Mr Doherty suggested, a NAMA-type arrangement for the purchase of NPLs from the banks.
Mr Doherty said the high level of non-performing loans here was a legacy of the refusal of the ECB to allow the government to burn bondholders, which cost the Irish people dearly.
Mr Draghi said he did not want to engage in a reconstruction of the past.
Yesterday: Draghi Into The Light