Thursday August 6, 2020

Makhlouf resists pressure to relax mortgage lending rules for first-time buyers

Nobody wants a repeat of the €64 billion bank bailout, but tough rules mean tough consequences

Michael Brennan

Political Editor

@obraonain
1st December, 2019
Gabriel Makhlouf, Governor of the Central Bank. Picture: Patrick Browne

As he prepares to release the Central Bank’s annual review of mortgage lending rules, Gabriel Makhlouf, the regulator’s new governor, knows that he is under political pressure to help first-time buyers.

The pressure began last summer, when Leo Varadkar told the MacGill summer school that he hoped the bank would consider changing the rules which limit people to borrowing a maximum of 3.5 times their salary.

The rules also require first-time buyers...

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