Permanent TSB has been fined €21m by the Central Bank of Ireland for regulatory breaches affecting tracker mortgage customers
The fine comes "in respect of serious failings to 2,007 tracker mortgage customer accounts which were impacted for the period between August 2004 and October 2018," according to a statement from the Central Bank.
This fine is the largest imposed to date by the Central Bank under the Administrative Sanctions Procedure.
The Central Bank says the fine reflects the gravity with which it views PTSB’s failings and the unacceptable harm it caused to tracker mortgage customers, from extended periods of significant overcharging to the loss of 12 family homes and 19 buy to let properties.
Permanent TSB has also been forced to pay €54 million in redress and compensation to its impacted customer accounts.
The Central Bank investigation found that PTSB denied its customers a tracker mortgage or did not put them on the correct tracker rate resulting from a number of failings including failing to warn certain customers about the consequences of decisions they might make relating to their mortgage, a lack of adequate systems, a decision to deny certain customers their correct tracker rate between 2009 and 2010 and an incorrect legal interpretation of contractual terms and conditions.
“Taking out a mortgage is the single most significant financial commitment most people will make in their lifetimes," said the Central Bank’s Director of Enforcement and Anti-Money Laundering, Seána Cunningham.
"Consumers must have confidence that lenders are acting in their best interests, particularly given the complexity of mortgage documents they need to understand in order to make the best decision.
"Our investigation found that PTSB failed to put their customers first, with distressing and, in some instances, devastating consequences."
"As part of an agreed settlement, Permanent TSB has admitted significant breaches and associated sanctions related to the Code of Practice for Credit Institutions 2001, the Consumer Protection Code 2006 and the Consumer Protection Code 2012," read a statement from the bank.
Added Chief Executive of Permanent TSB Jeremy Masding: "On behalf of Permanent TSB, I apologise unreservedly to all customers affected by the Tracker Mortgage issue, and for the distress caused as a result."