Friday 30 September 2016

Lenders should put their customers before profit

Published 09/04/2015 | 02:30

Pictured at the permanent tsb Group Holdings PLC AGM 2015 in Dublin were Jeremy Masding, Group Chief Executive and Alan Cook, Chairman
Pictured at the permanent tsb Group Holdings PLC AGM 2015 in Dublin were Jeremy Masding, Group Chief Executive and Alan Cook, Chairman

It is not good enough for the chairman of Permanent TSB to declare with certainty that the lender cannot reduce what are, in effect, the penal rates of mortgage interest it is charging customers with variable home loans.

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While it is true that the PTSB, unlike Bank of Ireland and AIB, has not returned to profitability, its chairman, Alan Cook, said yesterday that it was "nearly profitable".

It is utterly wrong that this institution and other mortgage lenders are penalising good customers who are struggling to pay their mortgages, to compensate for their own mistakes - in giving so many 'tracker' mortgages, on which they now say they are losing money, and on not dealing quickly and efficiently with the formidable mortgage arrears position that these lenders allowed to develop.

Good customers should come before profit, but that is not what is happening.

Mr Cook said the bank has been in contact with the Finance Minister Michael Noonan and the Central Bank. We would urge the minister and the governor to call Mr Cook this very morning to tell him that he can reduce the variable mortgage rate, and must do it now.

Irish Independent

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