Tuesday 11 December 2018

Almost 10,000 AIB customers lost out in tracker mortgage scandal - committee hears

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

CLOSE to 10,000 customers of AIB lost out in the tracker mortgage scandal.

The bank told the Oireachtas Finance Committee a total of 9,348 AIB customers are impacted by the tracker scandal in some form.

And these are customer numbers, not accounts, the bank said.

Chief executive Bernard Byrne said there was "no consideration" of the potential consequences of removing their tracker mortgage product from the market in 2008.

There is no "decision set" in existence to explain why people had trackers taken off them.

It was a series of process and diligence failures, Mr Byrne told the politicians.

Some 3,500 should have been restored to a tracker rate after fixing for a while.

The bank said 4,000 customers had a contractual commitment to be offered a tracker mortgage when they came off a fixed rate, but there was no specific margin in their contracts.

The bank said 5,200 customers have not yet been compensated by it.

Committee member Pearse Doherty of Sinn Féin said he did not believe the bank’s excuses.

He said it was not a case that the consequences of taking tracker away was not considered.

"I don’t believe you because customers went to you and told you about it. But you pulled down the shutters, told them to take the high road and told them they were wrong."

Mr Byrne said the financial services ombudsman had found in favour of the bank when cases were taken.

Only later did the Central Bank require lenders to warn customers about the consequences of removing trackers.

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