Thursday 21 September 2017

Regulator confirms tracker probe - two months after Sunday Independent report

The Central Bank of Ireland has confirmed it is conducting an industry-wide probe into the treatment of tracker mortgage accounts by lenders, two months after the Sunday Independent broke the news of the investigation
The Central Bank of Ireland has confirmed it is conducting an industry-wide probe into the treatment of tracker mortgage accounts by lenders, two months after the Sunday Independent broke the news of the investigation
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

The Central Bank of Ireland has confirmed it is conducting an industry-wide probe into the treatment of tracker mortgage accounts by lenders, two months after the Sunday Independent broke the news of the investigation.

The bank "has embarked on a broader examination of tracker mortgage-related issues covering, among other things, transparency of communications with and contractual rights of tracker mortgage borrowers" the Regulator announced on Friday evening.

Formal news of the investigation will be welcomed by the thousands of bank customers who feel they unfairly lost their tracker mortgages in recent years because of the actions of banks - but have not been able to get redress.

In a statement, the Central Bank said it was now "engaging closely with a number of lenders on points of concern relating to their ability to demonstrate that they have acted in the best interests of their tracker mortgage customers, with a number of lenders currently undertaking their own internal reviews.

"We have also been engaging with consumer groups, as well as the Financial Services Ombudsman, to help inform our work. In addition, we have decided that a broader examination of tracker-related issues is warranted.

"We have been developing an appropriate methodology for such an examination in order to ensure that all issues will have been addressed by such a review We have written to all lenders notifying them of our intention to conduct such a review."

The Sunday Independent reported that the regulator was probing tracker issues across all lenders as early as the first week of August.

The probe was prompted by serious mistakes unearthed at Permanent TSB which cost 22 people their homes. PTSB had neglected to tell people moving off a fixed rate mortgage that they were entitled to go back on to a tracker rate.

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