Home­less char­ity in­vests in banks that re­pos­sess homes

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - News - Mark O’Re­gan

A LEAD­ING home­less char­ity has sub­stan­tial in­vest­ments in ma­jor banks which have re­pos­sessed hun­dreds of fam­ily homes, the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent has learned.

The group also has a €230,000 stake in Ire­land’s largest un­listed prop­erty fund.

The Catholic Church and the Church of Ire­land Arch­bish­ops of Dublin, Diar­muid Martin and Michael Jack­son, are both for­mer hon­orary vice-pres­i­dents of the char­ity.

New fi­nan­cial records re­veal its di­verse port­fo­lio in­vest­ments now stand at €3.9m. Estab­lished in 1818, Men­dic­ity is the old­est char­ity of its kind in the city.

A spokesper­son in­sisted its cur­rent in­vest­ment pol­icy is both “holis­tic and eth­i­cal”.

Over the past 200 years, it has built up a size­able fund through sub­scrip­tions and be­quests, do­nated by pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als, and gifted in wills and in­her­i­tances.

In 2016 and 2015, it re­ceived €41,162 and €72,072 re­spec­tively from two spe­cific sources of in­come. Ac­counts show the fund’s big­gest in­vest­ment is in a fund called IPUT — the largest un­listed prop­erty ve­hi­cle in Ire­land.

An in­vest­ment of €173,135 in IPUT in Jan­uary 2015 is now worth €231,331.

In to­tal, the fund, estab­lished in the 1970s, is di­ver­si­fied across 45 dif­fer­ent in­vest­ments, in or­der to gen­er­ate the “max­i­mum amount of rev­enue pos­si­ble”.

In a state­ment, the char­ity in­sisted the man­age­ment of the fund is treated with the “ut­most care and at­ten­tion”.

All in­vest­ment de­ci­sions are made in line with the “holis­tic and eth­i­cal ap­proach” it ap­plies to its work, it added.

How­ever, bank bonds also form part of its in­vest­ment port­fo­lio, in­clud­ing a large stake in Bank of Ire­land, AIB, Rabobank, HSBC, Lloyd’s and Paragon Bank­ing Group.

Many of these fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions have been in­volved in the re­pos­ses­sion of fam­ily homes fol­low­ing the eco­nomic col­lapse.

In 2015, AIB started le­gal pro­ceed­ings to re­pos­sess 5,709 owner-oc­cu­pied homes.

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