The Central Bank has reprimanded the Irish Mortgage Corporation Limited trading as Moneyzone and has required it to pay a penalty of €65,000.
It entered into a settlement agreement with Moneyzone, a regulated financial services provider for breaches of the Consumer Protection Code 2006 and the Minimum Competency Requirements July 2006.
Moneyzone ceased business in October 2008.
The Central Bank says during the period July 2007 and October 2008, the firm failed to act professionally in the best interests of its customers and it failed to gather and record sufficient information of pension planning provision to repay long term mortgages and consequently was unable to ensure that the mortgages recommended were suitable to those consumers.
It says the firm failed to comply with certain aspects of its complaints handling procedures and to maintain up-to-date records of complaints made by certain consumers.
It also failed to make full disclosure to certain customers that incorporating the arrangement fee into their mortgage would incur interest charges from the lender.
The firm did not always have and employ systems and controls to ensure compliance with the Code.
It failed to retain, in some instances, a copy of a written statement setting out why the product recommended was suitable or the most suitable for consumers.
The firm failed in certain cases to submit to the mortgage lender a signed declaration that the Firm had sighted all original supporting documentation evidencing certain consumers' identity and ability to repay, prior to the mortgage being drawn down.
During the period January 2007 and October 2008, the Firm did not comply with the requirements of the MCR by failing to ensure that the immediate direction and supervision, in respect of "new entrants", was adequate.
The Central Bank conducted a number of on-site inspections of the firm, reviewed customer documentation and conducted interviews with affected customers, former employees of the firm and third party lenders who provided the underlying sub-prime mortgage products.