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Debt register to take two years to set up

IT will be at least another two years before a register of all the debts of consumers and companies is in place, it has emerged.

This is despite demands from the EU Commission as far back as 2010 that the new register be set up.

A centralised register is needed to ensure banks and other lenders make informed decisions when handing out loans, and to protect borrowers from excessive debt.

But Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has now admitted that the first phase of the new register is unlikely to be operational until 2016.

PHASED

Information for the new register will be "supplied by lenders on a phased basis during the course of late 2015 and into 2016", Mr Noonan told Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath.

Mr McGrath criticised the delay in setting up the new body, which he said was recommended by the Law Reform Commission as far back as 2009.

"Itwas clear that the lack of centralised source of credit data was a significant factor in disastrous lending decisions by Ireland's banks and financial institutions in respect of individuals and companies," he said.

The establishment of the new register is being handled by the Central Bank, with the section for consumer debt to be launched before there is one for commercial debts.

Asked why it was taking so long to put it in place, a spokeswoman for the Central Bank said creating a new credit register is a complex process.

There are more than 500 lenders within the scope of the central credit register, she said.

She added that the timing of when the new register is operational depends on the final detailed obligations being set out in regulations.


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