Saturday 3 December 2016

Permanent TSB AGM: 'I have never missed repayment, our next step is a public meeting' - angry customer attacks bosses

Chairman Alan Cook heckled by attendees at meeting as issue of high variable rates raised

Geraldine Gittens

Published 08/04/2015 | 15:11

A Permanent TSB mortgage customer has said the next step in her bid to have variable mortgage rates reduced is a public meeting.

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Frustrated mortgage holder Sara Hogan told the company's annual general meeting earlier this week even though she has the same mortgage value as her neighbour, she pays €118 more per month on her mortgage.

She added that following her appearance at the meeting and subsequent media coverage, a campaign is growing.

"In the past 24 hours, there’s been a lot of traction....on social media," she told Newstalk's Pat Kenny, in an interview.

"Our next move is to organise a public meeting," she said.

"We need to get a volume of people together. I’m meeting with Simon Harris (Fine Gael TD) next week. For now, www.askaboutmoney.com is the place to come.

At the meeting, Ms Hogan also asked Permanent TSB Group CEO Jeremy Masding and chairman Alan Cook if they think this is fair.

However, the bank said it is not planning to cut rates.

“I am charged 4.5pc on my existing mortgage. My neighbour with the same loan value, the same term, the same loan to value ratio is paying 3.8pc. I pay €118 more per month to the bank and this adds up to more than €36,000 over the remaining life of the mortgage. And I ask you Sir, is this fair?”

“I have never missed repayment. We are not in arrears. We are not looking for a special deal. We are looking to be treated the same.”

The Bray woman, who has been banking with TSB for six years, also spoke at Permanent TSB’s AGM three years ago. She said the bank announced a “token” rate reduction after this.

Today, she told the bank bosses not to “insult” her with detailed banking rhetoric.

“You’ll speak of the blended cost of funds. That’s not good enough. The European average rate is a little over 2pc. Your margin on our mortgage is greater than that.”

“‘Banking for life, we are with you every step of the way’ – that’s what your website proclaims. And you most certainly are, Sir. You are bleeding us dry.”

“Let me finish by asking you a question, Mr Masding and Mr Cook, do you think that it is fair and just to continue to treat one cohort of customers so very differently to another.”

“And please do not insult me with detailed rhetoric about the blended cost of funds. I am paying today and I want action today.”

“Do you think that it is fair to discriminate against one cohort of customers? Is this fair and right? Two groups, same mortgages, same terms, same loan-to-values, two very, very different rates.”

Ms Hogan claimed that her last speech at the TSB AGM was followed by “empty promises”.

 “You may remember that I stood in this room three years ago and spoke to you, because at the time the bank was charging the highest standard variable rate in the land,” she told

“The bank then announced with great fanfare a token reduction in that rate, together with empty promises about more to come, and now I find myself here again this year.”

In response to Ms Hogan's speech, Alan Cook responded: “What we’ve got to do is find a way to drive down those input costs that I talked about earlier such that we are able to share that reduced cost with our customers.”

“But we don’t have an option of saying ‘we will deliberately run those mortgages at a loss when we have a restructuring plan.”

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