Almost half of Bank of Ireland customers ripped-off by the lender over the tracker mortgage scandal have yet to be compensated or get redress, writes Juno McEnroe.
Chief executive Francesca McDonagh is to admit today that it has taken too long to resolve the overcharging fiasco but that she wants to give customers wronged an “unreserved apology”.
The Irish Examiner understands that Ms McDonagh will tell the Oireachtas Finance Committee that taking borrowers off tracker mortgages or putting them on wrong rates has caused many customers “financial pain and personal distress”.
Bank of Ireland has identified 9,400 customers affected. Some 6,000 of these were only recently added to its list after political pressure and challenges from the Central Bank late last year. These were eventually added in November.
Of the 9,400 customers, 3,400 were on an incorrect tracker, while 6,000 were denied a tracker rate.
As of January 24, the number of customers receiving redress and compensation was 5,000, with around €68m paid out.
Ms McDonagh will tell the committee that, since taking up her position last November, that she has prioritised resolving the scandal for the bank so as to regain the trust of customers.
“Quite simply, I believe Bank of Ireland took too long to get to the right position, and didn’t go far enough in putting the customer first,” said Ms McDonagh. “This has undoubtedly caused many of our customers financial pain and personal distress.
“Therefore — before moving ahead with my comments this evening — I wish to restate my unreserved apology to all customers affected by this issue for the financial loss and anxiety this has caused them and their families.”
TDs and senators on the committee will also hear about personal situations for some customers, including borrowers who faced the loss of a home or a life-threatening illness and how Bank of Ireland’s wrongful tracker charges “added to their difficulties”.
In a number of extreme cases, customers lost the ownership of their homes or properties directly as a result of the bank’s actions.