Mortgage Drought; Banks Are Awash with Our Cash, So Why Aren't They Lending to Those Who Want to Buy Homes?

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Byline: Niamh Lyons Political Correspondent

TEACHERS, nurses, architects and prison officers are being refused mortgages by two banks bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of e7billion.

Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Bank have been accused of 'cherry picking' customers and choking the economy.

The Government signed over a massive [umlaut]7billion worth of taxpayers' money to rescue the country's two troubled financial institutions in February, but the banks, which received [umlaut]3.5billion each, now stand accused of failing to release credit to recession-hit workers.

While unemployment rates among architects has soared due to the property slump, it is harder to understand why public sector workers are being turned away by the banks.

Critics said the news contradicted Government claims that credit is flowing from banks after the massive cash injection from the taxpayer.

Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell released a letter from the Independent Mortgage Advisers Federation (IMAF) to the CEO of the Affordable Homes Partnership, warning that AIB and Bank of Ireland will not give 92 per cent mortgages to large groups of workers.

In the letter, IMAF executive member Michael Dowling told Affordable Homes Partnership chief John O'Connor that lenders had started introduc- ing unreasonable criteria for their loans. The letter to Mr O'Connor stated: 'Government claims that the flow of credit from lending institutions is increasing is seriously contradicted by unreasonable lending criteria being enforced by some of the country's largest lending institutions. …