Ian Guider: In opposition, McGrath sought fairness for borrowers, so why not now?

The Minister for Finance must instruct the Central Bank to require that mortgage holders are not stigmatised by past credit history or by being a customer of a non-bank fund

Michael McGrath, Minister for Finance: in opposition, McGrath co-sponsored a bill to cap interest rates alongside John McGuinness, his Fianna Fáil colleague. Picture: Arthur Carron

A few years ago, an edict went out to Irish bank chiefs from their regulator, spurred on by a demand from the European Central Bank (ECB). All of them needed to tackle the weight of toxic debt clogging up their balance sheets.

The message to the Irish bankers, whose level of non-performing loans were among the highest in Europe, was clear: get rid of customers in mortgage arrears and do it pretty damn quickly.

The ...