Central Bank to Survey Households with Mortgage Debt 

Press release 25 April

Tá an preasráiteas seo ar fáil as gaeilge chomh maith

The Central Bank of Ireland today announced that it is to undertake a survey based on a sample of 2,000 Irish households with mortgage debt.   The purpose of this survey is to identify any changes in the income and consumption patterns of mortgage holders since they drew down their mortgage.

Governor Patrick Honohan said ‘this survey is needed for the Central Bank to understand better the circumstances faced by indebted Irish households in order to scale and target policies more effectively. It is important to note that all information provided by individual survey participants will be treated confidentially. Information on borrowers will not be shared with financial institutions and the Central Bank will not have access to borrower contact details.’

The results from this research will be used to supplement data collected as part of the Central Bank’s Financial Measures Programme and to conduct economic research on the likely developments in the Irish mortgage market.   This survey represents one element of the strategic approach taken on the issue of mortgage arrears, which is a top priority for the Central Bank.   The information gathered through this research is vital to understanding the challenges faced by mortgage-holders and will enable the Central Bank to participate in a meaningful way in wider discussions and policy developments on this issue.

Ipsos MRBI will carry out this survey on behalf of the Central Bank.  Mortgage holders have been randomly selected and will be contacted by letter in advance of this survey which will be a face-to-face interview with Ipsos MRBI staff in the participant’s own home.

Participation in this survey is completely voluntary.  However, borrowers who do participate are assured that the survey will be carried out on a confidential basis and in compliance with data protection requirements.  Mortgage providers will not be told which of their customers have agreed to take part in the survey and individual survey responses, including borrower information on their current income position, will not be shared with them.  In addition, the Central Bank will not receive any borrower contact details during this process.

Any survey participants who are currently experiencing difficulties with mortgage repayments and who are in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process will also be asked about their experience with this process and how they feel they have been treated by their lender.

Additional information can be found in the accompanying survey factsheet.  This factsheet explains the process of the survey and will be included in the letter to selected borrowers which will be issued in advance of the survey fieldwork