Fianna Fáil Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath has this evening welcomed an announcement from the Central Bank that it has “embarked on a broader examination of tracker mortgage-related issues covering transparency of communications with and contractual rights of tracker mortgage borrowers.”
Deputy McGrath said: “This overcharging issue has been a growing scandal in recent times. I recently raised the issue in a Dáil topical debate and in Finance Question Time. I did this as I was increasingly of the view that we cannot simply rely on the banks to put their own house in order. We already know that in the case of Permanent TSB almost 1,400 customers ended up overpaying by thousands of euro on their mortgage. 61 of these people lost their properties. However, that may only have been the tip of the iceberg in relation to this scandal.
“I would very strongly urge consumers who feel they have been the victim of sharp practice on the part of their bank to come and provide evidence they may have in relation to tracker mortgages.
“There is a widespread suspicion that banks have been using subtle and not so subtle tactics over the last number of years to nudge customers off their tracker rate or deny them the right to return to a tracker after a fixed rate period ends.
“In some cases the practices may have been unethical and in other cases there is emerging evidence that they may have been illegality at work. We need to get to the bottom of this issue once and for all.
“The Central Bank has been slow in stepping up to the mark on this but now that they have set up a full-scale investigation it is imperative that this issue is resolved and compensation is paid to any customer who lost out financially as a result of the actions of their bank,” concluded Deputy McGrath.