185. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of personal insolvency proposals vetoed by banks in the course of the work of the Personal Insolvency Service of Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5330/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): As the Deputy is aware, the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI) began accepting cases in September 2013. The ISI releases its statistics on a quarterly basis and the most up to date figures reflecting Quarter 4 of 2014 were published recently to their website
www.isi.gov.ie. 2014 was the ISI’s first full year of operation and during that time almost 1000 debt solutions were approved, comprising 547 alternatives to bankruptcy and 448 bankruptcy cases.
85% of proposals for Debt Settlement Arrangements (DSAs) were successful and 71% of proposals for Personal Insolvency Arrangements (PIAs) were successful. Overall, 75% of proposals for DSAs and PIAs were successful. It is encouraging that three out of four proposals are being supported by creditors. While this demonstrates that many financial institutions are constructively engaging in the process, clearly, some are not.
Last week, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and I met with representatives of the Insolvency Service and a selection of Personal Insolvency Practitioners (PIPs) in order to hear first-hand the PIPs' experience of putting arrangements in place between people struggling with debt and their creditors.
A number of suggestions were made by the PIPs with a view to improving engagement by creditors in the process. I will be considering these suggestions, and proposals received from a range of stakeholders, in the context of the review of the operation of the insolvency legislation, as committed to in the Statement of Government Priorities 2014-2016, to ensure that the ISI has the powers necessary to support families willing to work their way through their debt problems.