Sunday 25 February 2018

Central Bank boss tells victims of tracker mortgage scandal: 'You're on your own'

Derville Rowland Director General of Financial Conduct Central Bank; Central Bank Governor Prof Philip Lane; and Sharon Donnery Deputy Governor, Central Bank
during a Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach committee meeting with with representatives from tthe Central Bank of Ireland at Leinster House, Dublin,
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Derville Rowland Director General of Financial Conduct Central Bank; Central Bank Governor Prof Philip Lane; and Sharon Donnery Deputy Governor, Central Bank during a Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach committee meeting with with representatives from tthe Central Bank of Ireland at Leinster House, Dublin, Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Charlie Weston and Cormac McQuinn

The Central Bank has been accused of deserting victims of the tracker mortgage scandal by failing to use its powers to force banks to return trackers to those who lost them.

Governor Philip Lane told an Oireachtas committee it was asking banks to write to people they refuse to give trackers back to, and told victims they can go to the courts or the ombudsman.

Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty accused the Central Bank of a dereliction of its duty and he asked why the regulator will not use the 2013 powers it was given to ensure these people get redress as they are being overcharged now.

The Central Bank was "the dog that doesn't bark", Mr Doherty said.

He asked why the regulator will not use the 2013 powers it was given to ensure these people are redressed as they are being overcharged now.

Prof Lane said that would be a lengthy legal process, and the focus now is on getting the banks to do restore and refund people voluntarily.

The head of financial conduct at the Central Bank, Derville Rowland, revealed she has been informing gardaí about its examination of taking customers off trackers.

No formal report of fraud has been made to the Garda Síochána, but there have been meetings and information has been shared.

Ms Rowland advised anyone who believes they have been affected by the tracker scandal , but who have not been contacted, to complain to their bank.

The Central Bank warned there will be "substantial" numbers in addition to the 20,000 tracker-denial cases already disclosed. Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath said the ultimate cost of redress and compensation could top €500m.

Irish Independent

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