PTSB demand 'victim impact statements'
Published 02/08/2015 | 02:30
Borrowers who were wrongly overcharged by Permanent TSB, some of whom lost their homes and fell ill, will have to write up the equivalent of "victim impact reports" to get properly compensated, according to financial advisors.
The bank is offering up to €50,000 to mortgage holders who lost their homes as a result of the systematic overcharging and a fraction of that to other borrowers' and the opportunity to appeal to a redress scheme if they are not happy.
But Padraic Kissane, financial advisor to some of the wronged clients, said "it appears to me that if customers want to appeal they are being asked to put in victim impact statements." He said this was a cumbersome and bureaucratic process when they were entitled to fast redress. If the compensation was appropriate in the first place they would not have to claim compensation.
The state-owned bank is to hold face-to-face meetings this week with some of the 61 customers who lost their homes or properties because of the hiked-up interest rates. The affected customers will be offered compensation that is estimated to be around 10pc of what they were over charged, and gives them the option to appeal. Some 61 of the affected account holders lost ownership of the properties, some of them family homes. In 22 cases, the banks' failure was a "key factor" in loss of ownership.
The bank refused to disclose this weekend how many of the affected 1,372 customers it threatened or subjected to legal action. It claimed that the only property it actually repossessed was in 2012 - because it had been abandoned and was at risk of dereliction.
The rest of the properties that ended up back in the bank's ownership had been surrendered voluntarily, according to the spokesman.
The bank sought adjournments on all of the legal actions "months ago", he said, adding that the bank will pay "reasonable legal costs" as well as compensation.