Irish mortgage arrears inch lower again in third quarter

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DUBLIN (Reuters) – The number of Irish homeowners in arrears for more than 90 days inched lower to 7 percent in the third quarter from 7.1 percent three months earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday, confirming a pattern of moderating declines.

Arrears began falling sharply from a peak of 12.9 percent in 2013 in line with an economic recovery but the pace has slowed down since, dropping to 7.6 percent a year ago as lenders manage the most intractable non-performing loans (NPLs).

Irish Central Bank Deputy Governor Ed Sibley said this week that while the banks had made “enormous progress” on reducing their NPLs, they were now left with very challenging cases that need to be dealt with in a sustainable manner.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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