Fiji Time: 11:51 PM on Friday 19 December

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Mortgagee sales a last option, says bank association

Serelisoni Moceica
Friday, March 16, 2012

A MORTGAGEE sale is always the last option for a bank.

In comments marking World Consumer Rights Day yesterday, Association of Banks in Fiji chairman Kevin McCarthy said the banks "did not jump up for joy at the prospect of another mortgagee sale" as believed by many. Mr McCarthy was speaking during a panel discussion which was the main event organised for the day at Suva's Southern Cross Hotel.

He said most banks had tender committees that handled mortgagee sales cases and these were assessed before decisions were made on action to take regarding the cases.

"We believe this is an independent process," Mr McCarthy.

Commercial banks and lending institutions came under fire from the Consumer Council and other attendants as they highlighted problems faced by consumers on mortgagee sales.

"It should be noted that mortgage providers are not in the business of 'Saving Families' Homes', they are in the business of lending money," said council CEO Premila Kumar said.

She said credit providers did not have the time or inclination to assist borrowers with their financial problems.

The chief manager of Financial Institution Groups at the Reserve Bank, Esala Masitabua, said there was also a need to ensure banks did not fall over and financial stability was a priority for the bank to consider at all times.