Leo Varadkar says borrowers who have their loans transferred will have the "exact same consumer protections"

Borrowers who have mortgages owned by so-called "vulture funds" will have greater protections from early 2019, according to the Taoiseach.

Throughout 2018, concerns have been raised about Irish loans being transferred to the foreign-owned funds.

Sinn Féin claims the funds have been "given a free rein", while Fianna Fáil says the funds "must be regulated and held accountable".

A bill, which has been put forward by Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson, is to be enacted in the new year.

Leo Varadkar said: "What we're working on is enacting legislation that Michael McGrath has brought forward, which is to make sure that so-called vulture funds will be properly regulated - we support that and we're going to make that happen.

"We're going to make sure that anyone who has a mortgage, who is paying their mortgage continues to have the exact same consumer protections as they would if the loan had still been owned by the banks."