Irish Life relaxed over capital levels if mortgage market falls

IRISH LIFE & PERMANENT said yesterday it was confident Irish banks are adequately capitalised to deal with any downturn in the nation’s residential mortgage market.

Investors are worried home loans could become a new black hole for Ireland’s banks, but Irish Life, whose permanent tsb banking unit is one of the biggest operators in the residential mortgage market, said it was comfortable with its capital position.

“We are very confident that the regulatory stress tests for mortgages are sufficient to cover even the worst case scenario envisaged in Ireland,” chief executive Kevin Murphy said.

Irish Life said mortgages over 90 days in arrears had risen by 11 per cent since July but early arrears cases had levelled off since May as unemployment levels stabilised.