Wednesday 13 November 2019

Central Bank under fire for delay in tracker scandal accountability

Lane defends watchdog as it's accused of being slow to act

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane (Niall Carson/PA)
Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane (Niall Carson/PA)
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Holding bankers to account for the tracker mortgage scandal would risk scaring them off to other countries, the watchdog has claimed.

Governor Philip Lane defended the fact that plans for rules to hold bankers to account are only now swinging into play.

Referencing the UK as a parallel, he said there was a risk of scaring off banks and their directors if a new regime holding bankers individually responsible for rip-offs was introduced.

But the Central Bank has been accused of being "behind the curve" in making sure individual bankers are held responsible for the tracker scandal.

It is the latest twist in the long-running saga that saw tens of thousands of hard-pressed households denied a lower tracker rate.

A total of 38,400 affected tracker customers have been identified and paid €580m in redress and compensation, as of August 31.

But almost three years after the banks were told by the Central Bank to examine their mortgage books in depth to identify people who were cheated, it emerged that some 3,200 account holders have yet to get compensation and be returned to a low tracker rate.

In a separate development, the 'granny flat grant' will form a part of Budget 2019, it has emerged, as the Government grapples with the housing crisis.

The proposal to fund renovations and break existing homes into two units was demanded by the Independent Alliance.

The details are now being worked out, despite experts cautioning the high costs involved.

Irish Independent

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