Tuesday 21 November 2017

PTSB will pay couple back their €61,000 straight away

PTSB overcharged customers
PTSB overcharged customers

Aodhan O'Faolain and Ray Managh

A couple who brought High Court proceedings against Permanent TSB are to be repaid the full €61,000 they were overcharged by the lender.

Liam Fitzgerald and Angela Wallace, who are among the 1,100 customers of Permanent TSB who a Central Bank investigation found were overcharged, earlier claimed PTSB demanded they must accept its offer of compensation of just under €6,000 before it would repay the amount the bank overcharged them.

The couple, who always fully complied with their mortgage with PTSB, claimed it was "utterly improper and unlawful" for the bank to place such a condition on the repayment of the monies PTSB admits was due and owing to them.

The couple also claimed they were asked to accept what they believe to be a "derisory compensation offer". Last week they launched High Court proceedings seeking various orders against PTSB Plc including an injunction requiring the lender to discharge its admitted liability in the sum of €61,195.13.

They are also seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, unlawful interference with their economic interests, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.

The matter was briefly mentioned before Mr Justice Robert Haughton yesterday. Following talks between the parties, the judge was told by Richard Kean SC for the couple the action could be adjourned generally, with liberty to reapply to have the proceedings re-entered if necessary.

Afterwards, Mr Fitzgerald, a solicitor based in Lusk, Co Dublin, said it had been agreed between the parties that he and his partner were to be repaid the €61,000 PTSB admitted overcharging them.

The couple are seeking damages against the lender as a result of being overcharged.

A spokesperson for the bank said: "The bank's position has always been that customers can accept the redress and compensation immediately and still appeal for more compensation through our appeal panels, or take the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the courts if they wish."

The couple, from Lusk, were informed last month they had been overcharged by more than €61,000 by PTSB in respect of their mortgage on their current and previous family homes for a period in excess of six years.

Following the Central Bank's investigation, PTSB, the couple alleged, wrote to them and said it would repay them what was overcharged, but only subject to their acceptance of PTSB's offer of compensation of €5,798.92.

In a sworn statement grounding the application, Mr Fitzgerald said it was "utterly reprehensible" that PTSB had not unequivocally offered to "immediately" and "without question" repay him and his wife the amount they were overcharged.

There was "no legal basis" for refusing to pay the sums overcharged, he said.

Irish Independent

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