Tuesday 19 February 2019

Number of victims of tracker mortgage scandal rises to almost 40,000

Stock photo
Stock photo
Director general of financial conduct Derville Rowland. Picture: Collins
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The number of mortgage holders hit by the tracker scandal has shot up again, with a warning the number could rise further.

The latest update from the Central Bank shows that there are now close to 40,000 mortgage holders who are victims of the massive rip-off.

There has been a rise of around 1,400 in the cases conceded by the banks since the summer.

Up to the end of last year lenders had paid out €647m to customers affected by their failure to ensure people did not lose valuable tracker mortgages.

This is an increase of €67m on the figure from August.

The Central Bank said 39,800 mortgage account holders had been affected by the scandal at the end of December.

Regulators said more customers are likely to be included in the probe of 15 lenders for taking trackers off customers.

The Central Bank will continue to challenge all lenders until it is satisfied that all groups of affected customers have been identified, it said.

It is not mentioned in the latest update, but more than 100 mortgage holders lost their homes after banks illegally denied them trackers.

The probe is the largest conducted by the Central Bank.

It has been going on for three years now, and has cost the banks €1bn. The probe is expected to finish this year.

Some 97pc of those affected have received redress and compensation. Most have been put back on a tracker rate, cutting monthly repayments by up to €500.

Six lenders are the subject of enforcement investigations by the regulator.

They include AIB, its EBS subsidiary, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank.

Director general of financial conduct at the Central Bank Derville Rowland said enforcement investigations are being conducted in parallel with the Central Bank's tracker examination.

As enforcement investigations are at different stages, they will conclude on different timelines, with some concluding this year.

Irish Independent

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