Tuesday 13 November 2018

EBS concedes on 500 tracker cases

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Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

HUNDREDS of new tracker denial cases have been conceded by a leading lender.

EBS, the former building society that is now a subsidiary of AIB, have returned 500 residential mortgage account holders to valuable tracker rates.

EBS had been denying a number of customers a return to a tracker rate, and redress of overpaid interest and compensation.

The Irish Independent has now learned it has owned up to another 500 cases, on top of 1,900 already conceded.

The move sees monthly repayments drop by between €400 and €500 for many customers, according to financial adviser Padraic Kissane, who has been battling EBS on the issue for six years now.

Many of those impacted are likely to get refunds of overpaid interest of around €25,000, with compensation of €3,000.

One person benefiting from the lender’s u-turn said his interest rate dropped from a variable rate of 3.5pc to a tracker rate of 0.99pc.

 “I checked our EBS online banking Manage Accounts area and noticed our new monthly repayment had dropped by several hundred euro,” he said on Askaboutmoney.com.

“Massive sigh of relief, after nine years of waiting,” he added.

AIB is due before the Oireachtas Finance Committee on Thursday to discuss the reluctance up to now to resolved disputed EBS cases.

Mr Kissane said the concession of 500 cases by EBS would be life-changing for customers affected.

He said he was battling EBS since 2012, and had made several representations to the Central Bank on the issue.

Customers impacted had originally got a tracker contract. In this there were offered the option of going for a fixed rate once, without penalty.

But these 500 customers were denied a return to a tracker rate when they finished the term of the fixed rate, with EBS telling them they had signed off the tracker and could not get it back.

So far the Central Bank has identified 33,700 customers impacted by the tracker loss scandal, with banks set to spend €1bn rectifying the overcharging.

A tracker is a mortgage with a set margin over the European Central Bank rate, and cost a fraction to service compared with fixed and variable rates.

Mr Kissane has estimated that the total number impacted by the scandal will be around 40,000.

He said Ulster Bank has yet to concede on around 1,500 cases, where people took out mortgage originally with First Active.

AIB had no comment.

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