Wednesday 18 September 2019

Minister's tracker mortgage dossier to be examined by finance committee

Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Dáil Éireann. Stock picture
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

The Oireachtas finance committee is to examine a dossier compiled by a government minister as part of its investigation into the tracker mortgage scandal.

The 42-page document contains detailed correspondence Minister for Older People Jim Daly had with the Central Bank after he raised concerns about tracker mortgages three years ago.

The dossier includes letters, emails and notes of telephone conversations between Mr Daly and senior figures in the Central Bank after he received complaints of customers being wrongly taken off tracker mortgage rates.

The tracker scandal has escalated in recent weeks as the true scale of the number of customers affected has emerged. The Sunday Independent previously revealed how Mr Daly was told by former Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan that there were "zero" examples of customers in arrears being wrongly switched from tracker mortgages to less favourable interest rates.

Mr Daly's file contains a detailed note of a phone call in 2014, in which the minister accused a senior Central Bank official of "11 minutes of procrastination and circumlocution" when he rang to ask how many customers had been moved from tracker to variable-rate mortgages.

He also accused the official of "side-stepping" his questions and said he only received a response after "forced, very direct questioning".

In another letter, the regulator said it had "no evidence" from "ongoing and intensive supervisory engagements" with banks that customers were being moved from tracker mortgages to more unfavourable rates.

The dossier also includes correspondence between the minister and the main banks at the centre of the tracker mortgage controversy.

Finance committee chairman John McGuinness confirmed last week that he would be examining the file as part of his investigation into tracker mortgages. More than 30,000 bank customers, some of whom lost their homes, are expected to be compensated for being wrongly moved from tracker rates.

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section