by Pádraig Hoare
Permanent TSB chiefs have denied “closing ranks” and refusing to admit “operational mismanagement” over its part in the €1bn industry-wide tracker mortgage scandal.
An angry Pearse Doherty clashed with Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding at the Oireachtas Finance Committee, where the Sinn Féin finance spokesman accused the bank of “stonewalling” TDs and senators and “trying to close down discussion” about who was to blame when it came to the scandal.
Mr Masding strenuously denied the charge, saying he had never deliberately obfuscated and had always tried to be forthcoming with the committee.
Some 37,100 have so far been identified in the scandal, which happened when mortgage holders were wrongly put onto more expensive loans by a range of lenders. Mr Masding said 1,979 accounts holders had been offered redress and compensation, of which 96% had accepted. Some 78 have not yet accepted, of which 41 had not yet been contacted despite various efforts.
Mr Doherty accused Mr Masding of repeatedly refusing to answer the committee as to whether there was “serious operational mismanagement”, despite telling Finance officials in private that there indeed was.
Mr Masding said he could not comment while the Central Bank was still carrying out its tracker review.
The bank’s senior officials denied Mr Doherty’s accusation that it “completely abdicated a duty of care” by moving to sell split mortgages to vulture funds despite evidence they were actually performing loans.