Banks don't rule out further impacted tracker accounts

Updated / Friday, 10 Nov 2017 17:25

Bank of Ireland said yesterday it had identified another 6,000 customers who were wrongly removed from their tracker mortgages

Banks caught up in the tracker mortgage scandal have not ruled out identifying more impacted accounts.

It follows an announcement yesterday by Bank of Ireland that it is to compensate 6,000 newly-identified affected customers who were wrongly moved from low-interest loans to much higher ones.

These accounts are in addition to the 4,300 previously-highlighted customers at the lender. 

KBC Bank previously said that 571 tracker mortgage customers were already rectified in 2010, with a further 490 customers identified to date.

The bank said an additional 200 to 600 cases may be identified.

KBC will issue interim results next Thursday, at which point an update on how it is managing the tracker issue is expected.

So far AIB has identified 3,416 accounts affected by the tracker scandal, and has said it estimates a further 170 new cases by the end of this year.

It is not expected that Permanent TSB, which has identified just under 2,000 impacted accounts, will see any major upward revision, however, the bank has not denied there could be one.

It is understood there is only a small number of potentially affected accounts in dispute between Ulster Bank and the Central Bank, meaning only small upward revisions, if any, are anticipated.

Ulster Bank has identified 3,500 impacted customers to date.

Yesterday the Central Bank said it will use all its powers in continuing to challenge all lenders in relation to disputed cases.

The regulator will be providing an update on its examination of the issue in December.

It is estimated up to 30,000 accounts could ultimately be identified as having been impacted by the tracker scandal.

Earlier, the General Secretary of the Financial Services Union Larry Broderick said fear permeates the banking industry and has destroyed it for many years.

Mr Broderick said he was surprised by the scale of the tracker mortgage issue and said he believed it had caused huge reputation issues for the industry.


Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said the message for banks was to own up, apologise to customers and to staff, and give proper redress so people could feel vindicated.

"The concern for us has always been for bank officials or customers having to take on the powers of a bank who have huge legal support. We need a resolution to this that recognises unfairness in the interest of staff and indeed customers," he added.

Mr Broderick said the challenge was that the banks took a "legalistic approach" to the tracker mortgage issue and did not consider implications for the people concerned. 

He said this scandal had been going on for eight years and that the culture in banking needed to change.  

Mr Broderick said Bank of Ireland's admission yesterday was "a welcome development" and said he hoped the other banks would do the same.

He also said that an independent third party should be appointed to ensure that all customers and bank officials who had their tracker mortgages removed by the banks were properly compensated.

Mr Broderick said the internal process set up by the banks was not robust enough. 

"I don't think you can have a standard approach to compensation right across the board, because every person's set of circumstances will differ," he stated. 

The Financial Services Union first became aware of the tracker mortgage issue when it was raised by members in 2009/2010. 

Mr Broderick said the union raised it with the banks, and the banks' view was that they were doing what they were entitled to do legally. He said the union lobbied politicians and the Central Bank to get involved in the issue.

He said the Central Bank's intervention has been helpful and there is now a process in place, which hopefully will resolve the matter in the interest of the customers and the union's members.

He said when the compensation process is over, there needs to be a narrative so that people can understand how this happened.

Mr Broderick also said that people need to know if there was collusion between the banks.