Business Property & Mortgages

Thursday 22 August 2019

Staff at Bank of Ireland accuse bosses of 'reneging' on trackers

Bank of Ireland. Stock photo: Getty Images
Bank of Ireland. Stock photo: Getty Images
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Staff at Bank of Ireland have accused management of "reneging" on commitments to give them low-cost tracker mortgages.

A group of 200 staff and former staff at the bank have been written to by the head of products, telling them they will not get trackers.

It comes after the Central Bank issued what it said was its final report on a probe of 15 lenders into their handling of the tracker scandal.

Regulators said 40,100 mortgage accounts had been affected by the tracker rip-off.

The Central Bank has shut down the probe despite some 5,000 cases where it was admitted customers at AIB who were entitled to trackers only got €1,000 in compensation and did not get trackers back, while there are another 5,000 cases where the banks will not concede liability.

Now Bank of Ireland has dug its heels in and told the 200 staff and ex-staff it will not be giving them tracker rates or compensating them.

A spokesperson for the group accused the bank of treating them badly.

He said: "This decision is hard to believe considering the wealth of documentary proof that we have shared with both Bank of Ireland and the Central Bank."

A number of documents show group members were entitled to trackers. One of these is the bank's credit policy from March 2006.

It shows the policy was that all clients entering fixed-rate mortgages were to automatically roll to a tracker. The margin was the European Central Bank rate plus 0.75pc.

A spokesman for the staff group said: "Under this policy when the customer entered the fixed-rate agreement the agreement was their mortgage account would roll to a tracker rate automatically. This is what the bank reneged on."

Bank of Ireland said it considered all of the issues put forward in relation to these accounts which did not draw down on a tracker, were never on a tracker and did not opt to take a tracker rate prior to the product being withdrawn.

"We met with the group again last week and set out to them that following a full review of their cases and the application of the examination framework, they do not fall within this framework.

"The supervisory element of the tracker mortgage examination has been concluded, all impacted customers have been identified and this has been agreed with the Central Bank," it added.

Irish Independent

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