Sunday 20 May 2018

Ministers call for Garda probe into tracker mortgage scandal

Shane Ross TD
Shane Ross TD
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Independent Alliance members of government have called for a full criminal investigation into the banks at the centre of the tracker mortgage scandal.

The grouping, including Transport Minister Shane Ross, said the Government must “exercise its rights as a shareholder” in some of the banks involved.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe will this evening explain the outcome of his meetings with bank chiefs over the past two days.

Ahead of that the five Independent Alliance TDs issues a statement calling for Gardaí to take over the investigation into how people were wrongly denied a tracker mortgage.

“The allegations of fraud which have been made more than merit a top-level criminal investigation rather than just a Central Bank investigation,” the statement said.

“We must not forget that many people lost their homes due to an inability to repay their mortgage after being taken off tracker rates while others have suffered severe ill-health through the cruel tactics employed by some banks.

“The time for talking is over. The Banks were given plenty of notice that this was a problem they had to solve. Now it is obvious that a criminal investigation is needed to get to the bottom of the scandal.”

The Alliance, which has one senior ministry and three juniors, also said that compensation amounts for affected customers should be determined by an independent body or person, adding that this function should not be in the control of the banks.

Their statement concludes that the banking sector “has gotten away with too much”.

“It was the people of Ireland who kept them afloat during the banking crisis yet all some of those people got in return was seeing their homes ripped from their hands.”

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