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Saturday 18 November 2017

You and I will end up paying for this

THE bill for the bad banking practices that wrecked the economy just keeps rising.

The latest item is the cost of the slowly unfolding scandal of mis-sold payment protection insurance products.

Much of the bill is to end up being refunded -- thousands of people could soon be getting payments of €2,000 to €3,000 each.

But someone has to pick up the tab, and yet again the taxpayer will ultimately have to cover the cost.

We have bailed them out, nationalised them, recapitalised them.

But all we seem to get from our banks is trouble.

Last week AIB hit its 70,000 variable rate customers with a second 0.5pc rise in interest rates. It follows a similar move by Bank of Ireland and ICS.

Ulster Bank barely functioned for most of the summer, as its IT system collapsed.

This on top of large scale branch closures and new current account charges.

The payment protection mess in AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB, EBS and subprime lender GE will take ages to sort out.

It is just the latest manifestation of their pursuit of profit at all costs, combined with look-the-other-way regulation.

Tens of thousands of protection insurance policies were mis-sold as they were bought by people who would never have been able to make a successful claim.

Selling a product like payment protection insurance to a homemaker mother, knowing it was useless to her because she was barred from making a claim, shows an extraordinary disregard for ethics and customer welfare.

But given all that we now know about our banks, it is getting harder and harder to be shocked any more.

Irish Independent

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