KBC chief to apologise for comments on tracker mortgage scandal

KBC chief to apologise for comments on tracker mortgage scandal

Fianna Fail Spokesperson for Finance Michael McGrath TD has called on the KBC Group to apologise for comments on the tracker mortgage scandal.

KBC Group CEO Johan Thijs had said the Central Bank needs to move on as an “annoying” inquiry into a mortgage overcharging scandal hampers growth.

He said: “What is still an annoying thing is the whole tracker mortgage stuff,” Mr Thijs said on a call with analysts where he was discussing the lender’s third-quarter earnings.

“Honestly, I would recommend the Central Bank of Ireland, come on guys, turn the page, focus on doing business. We have learned our lessons, we know what to do.”

Mr McGrath said: "Mr Thijs’s comments were ill-judged, ill-informed and deeply hurtful to the thousands of customers who have had their lives turned upside down as a result of the tracker mortgage scandal caused by the banks’ own behaviour.

“The irony is that if some banks had not dragged their feet and sought at every turn to minimise the amount of customers to be compensated, the tracker scandal could have been well closed out at this stage.

“Separately, I have asked the Finance Committee to invite the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Ed Sibley to come before us to explain how he intends to follow through on the comments he made at a banking conference earlier this week.

“I agree with Deputy Governor Sibley that the mortgage rates charged by banks here are too high and that many existing customers are treated unfairly. Fianna Fáil has been pointing this out to the Central Bank for years now. It also has to be said the Central Bank has resisted at every turn efforts to do anything about this."

Update: 15:43

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the best way for KBC to move on from the scandal is "by dealing with it and making sure that anyone who deserves compensation gets compensated in full immediately, and that they issue a full apology to anyone who they have wronged in the way that they did."

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