Thursday 17 October 2019

Donohoe 'can't give timeline' for 3,000 tracker victims


Dragging on: Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath called for an end. Photo: Tom Burke
Dragging on: Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath called for an end. Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

More than 3,000 victims of the tracker-mortgage scandal are still waiting for compensation, but Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe cannot say when they will receive it.

The householders are among those who were wrongly pushed by their bank to switch away from a low-rate tracker mortgage in the wake of the economic crash.

About €580m has been returned to people so far and those affected are eligible for compensation - but for 10pc the timeline for redress remains unclear.

"I cannot give an exact time by which everybody will have his or her money back, but I want it to happen as soon as possible," Mr Donohoe said.

He said there was a "cohort of cases" that would be "more difficult and even more demanding".

The minister was replying to questions from Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath, who said the 3,000 customers were known to the banks "yet they remain unpaid and out of pocket to this day, which is not acceptable".

"We and, more importantly, the people who were affected need the minister and the Central Bank to inform them when they will get their money back," he said.

Mr McGrath said that the scandal must "be brought to an end".

"It is bad enough that this happened in the first place, but the way in which it has been handled and the fact it has been allowed to drag on while people continue to be out of pocket is not acceptable," he added.

Separately, Mr Donohoe has indicated Nama could remain in operation for up to a year longer than previously believed.

The National Asset Management Agency - the country's bad bank - will not now be wound up at the end of 2020.

The agency was set up after the economic crash to buy up risky property loans from Irish bailed-out lenders.

Irish Independent

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