Thursday 22 February 2018

'Take a look in mirror,' watchdog told as tracker scandal bill to hit €1bn

Governor of Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane
Governor of Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The cost of the tracker scandal for the banks is approaching €1bn. The revelation came as Central Bank governor Philip Lane was told that regulators should examine themselves when they are conducting a review of the anti-consumer culture in lenders.

The Oireachtas Finance Committee was told lenders had been "hoodwinking" the Central Bank.

The Central Bank is conducting a review into the culture in the banks, after being requested to do so by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Committee chairman John McGuinness told Prof Lane to get a big mirror when investigating banking culture, to examine the role of regulators. "When you are investigating the culture in the banks I hope you have a big mirror down there in the Central Bank and you will look into it," he said.

"Their attitude is shocking to a degree that no country or parliament or society should accept it - and you regulate them."

The committee heard that the main lenders have made combined provisions of €900m in respect of the examination. This is broken down as €600m for redress and compensation, and €300m for lender costs.

Prof Lane said one lender had up to 500 people working on its redress scheme. And the bill is likely to be higher, as the €900m figure does not include fines.

The committee was told just before Christmas that banks discovered 13,600 extra cases following pressure from the regulator. Close to 34,000 bank customers had good-value trackers wrongly taken off them or were put on the wrong rate.

Irish Independent

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