Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has called on the Government to introduce laws to impose increased levies on banks who overcharge customers and then fail to re-compensate them in a timely manner.

Deputy Calleary raised the tracker mortgage scandal with the Taoiseach in the Dáil on Thursday and emphasised the need for urgent action on this issue.

“There are around 13,000 customers affected by the banks’ failure to hand back the money due to them as a result of their failure to move them to the correct tracker rates.  Some families are out of pocket to the tune of tens of thousands of euro, while others have lost their homes”, explained Deputy Calleary.

“This scandal unfolded over many years, and even after it was exposed and the banks were told to recompense customers, they abandoned their legal, financial and moral obligations.  Banks have caused enough stress.  They brought the country to its knees and, given that experience, they should have woken up to their corporate responsibilities, their social responsibilities and their moral responsibilities.

“One customer was being overcharged on their mortgage for over four years.  In May 2016 they were put on the correct rate by the bank but, 17 months on, they’re still waiting on the €20,000 that was overcharged and the bank has yet to make an offer of redress or compensation.  Another told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that he suffered a stroke and his wife suffered a nervous breakdown directly as a result of the stress caused to them.  We cannot stand by and make false promises on this issue.

“The Government must set out clear legislation to penalise banks which fail to re-compensate customers that were the victims of administrative incompetence.  The banks must be held accountable and their customers deserve action and compensation, but more importantly, justice”.