AIB Tells State Mortgage Approach ‘Regrettable’ After Virus Row

AIB Group Plc CEO Colin Hunt described the bank’s handling of mortgage lending during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis as “regrettable,” after Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin joined critics of the state-owned lender’s approach.

In a July 1 letter to the finance ministry, and released to Bloomberg News under freedom of information rules, Hunt said the bank’s approach wasn’t “clear and transparent.” Hunt was replying to correspondence from the finance ministry. A request for the finance ministry’s letter to Hunt was rejected.

AIB had been under fire for effectively restricting mortgage lending to applicants receiving government wage supports during the pandemic. Days before the bank’s letter, Martin told reporters in Dublin that his new Irish government would “have to examine and look at” the issue, and “wouldn’t be entirely happy with that approach.”

Voice messages to two AIB spokespeople seeking comment were not immediately returned.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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