The head of the Central Bank has been accused of being bullied by banks and of failing to act and stop lenders wrongly forcing customers onto more costly mortgage agreements, writes Juno McEnroe, Political Correspondent.
Philip Lane (pictured) also came under sustained attack from TDs and senators at the Oireachtas Finance Committee this morning, for failing to answer questions about banks “systemically” changing mortgage deals.
Fine Gael’s Kieran O’Donnell was the first to query what actions had been taken since it emerged in recent years that banks were taking customers off tracker mortgages or preventing them returning to these types of loans. He asked had the Central Bank "failed" to protect customers.
But Mr Lane was unable to answer questions about what individual banks had done or failed to do when it came to switching around customers on mortgage agreements.
Customers have been refunded tens of thousands of euro after it emerged that lenders wrongly moved customers off those cheaper mortgage deals and onto more costly ones in recent years.
Committee chairman John McGuinness intervened after the Central Bank officials could not supply figures an information about the mortgage scandal.
He questioned whether the Central Bank and Mr Lane were being “bullied” by the banks. Was this the reason why there was an “unwillingness to give up the numbers” and “play hardball,” asked the chairman.
Customers had been "pushed into poor health", argued Mr McGuinness, and “some into suicide” by the actions of the bank.
“Remember the customers that you are supposed to be protecting,” he told Mr Lane.
The meeting continues.