Business

Saturday 10 December 2016

Permanent TSB forced to offer customers compensation following mortgage failures including home loss

Paul O'Donoghue

Published 28/07/2015 | 08:59

PTSB. Photo: Niall Carson/PA
PTSB. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Permanent TSB has agreed to offer a compensation package to over 1,000 customer accounts regarding a “serious failure” over mishandled mortgages, following an investigation.

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Two main issues were identified.

The first was that Permanent TSB failed to inform certain customers of the consequences of their decisions to break early from a fixed rate or discounted tracker period.  Those who broke from early lost their contractual right to be offered a tracker rate in the future.

The second was that Permanent TSB failed to inform some other customers of their right to be offered a tracker rate at the end of any fixed rate period.

The Central Bank said that due to the bank’s failures its customers suffered mortgage overpayments; mortgage arrears; legal proceedings; and in certain cases loss of ownership of properties, including some homes.

The failures were identified by Permanent TSB and its subsidiary company Springboard Mortgages Limited. They occurred between 2006 and 2011.

The bank has agreed to implement a major redress and compensation programme to address the difficulties caused to 1,372 impacted Permanent TSB and Springboard customer accounts. The majority of the impacted customer accounts, 1,152, are accounts of Permanent TSB, with the remaining 220 being accounts of Springboard.

61 of the account holders who were impacted by the mistakes in interest rates charged have lost their properties since the error occurred.

The bank said that after a review by Permanent TSB and Springboard, 22 of those people may have avoided losing their properties if the failures not occurred.

As part of the redress scheme announced today, those who lost ownership of their home will receive compensation payment of €50,000. If the property was a buy-to-let, the compensation will be reduced to €25,000.

In cases where PTSB’s failure was a “key factor”, any monies still owed by the customer on the mortgage account will be written off.

The Central Bank’s Director of Enforcement, Derville Rowland, said: “The Central Bank considers the failures identified by Permanent TSB and Springboard to be very serious and their consequences to be completely unacceptable. 

She added: “We encourage customers to use the money provided by Permanent TSB or Springboard to obtain independent advice. 

“The Central Bank will continue to pursue its enforcement investigations against both Permanent TSB and Springboard.”

Permanent TSB and Springboard will be writing to all impacted customers over the next two weeks to outline the redress and compensation offer specific to their circumstances.

This is to set out specific details of the mortgage redress programme as it applies to customers’ individual circumstances.

Permanent TSB chairman Alan Cook and chief executive Jeremy Masding described the failures by the bank as “deeply regrettable”.

In a joint statement they said: “The failures which occurred have had very serious consequences for impacted customers and we apologise unreservedly on behalf of the group to them and to all our customers.

“We are truly sorry that this has occurred and our absolute focus now is on correcting the position of every impacted customer as speedily as possible.”

They also said that they would do “everything in their power” to help customers who had lost their homes after the errors, which they said “may have been a factor in events that ultimately led to some customers losing the property linked to the mortgage”.

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