Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, speaking in the Dail last night (Wednesday) urged the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, to extend the services of the Credit Review Office to individuals who have been turned down for loan applications by NAMA Banks.

“I am aware of a number of cases where individuals, seeking either a mortgage or other type of bank finance and have strong credit ratings and viable financial propositions, are being refused credit for small inconsequential reasons. As there is no formal independent review process for these decisions, banks are getting away with it.

“I acknowledge the need for banks to be able to independently assess the risks they are willing to take and I accept that the lending criteria of many banks have tightened in recent years. However, where a genuine case exists with a strong financial application and genuine repayment capacity, the individual needs to know they will get a fair hearing from the financial institution.

“The Credit Review Office provides a vital service for SMEs, farmers and sole traders and should be utilised further. It has ensured that 64 cases to date received credit where they had originally been turned down. An extension of this service to deal with individual cases will hold the banks to account and provide consumers with an option when they believe they have been unfairly treated in a commercial decision.”