Latest: Tracker mortgage scandal to cost close to €1bn; Victims to be compensated 'by end of June'

Latest: Tracker mortgage scandal to cost close to €1bn; Victims to be compensated 'by end of June'

Update - 11.32am: All those hit by the tracker mortgage scandal should have their money back and compensation paid by the end of June.

The governor of the Central Bank says customers can cash their compensation cheque and still appeal it if they do not think it's good enough.

Central Bank governor Philip Lane says those who haven't got their money back should have it by the middle of the year:

He said: "We're continuing to check the numbers. We're not ruling out that the numbers of those affected could go on.

"We don't think, if we find people, there should be any delay putting them into the payments system, so we are confirming that we think it is all going to be done by the end of June, in terms of the initial payments."

Mr Lane said the Central Bank was not ruling out individual culpability among bankers for the scandal.

He also warned that board members and senior personnel have significant legal obligations to report possible breaches of regulations to the Central Bank and suspected criminality to gardaí.

Top bankers are now being asked to sign and confirm they know their obligations, Mr Lane said.

"The culture of a firm is the responsibility of that firm," he told the committee.

"In particular, the members of its board should constantly be asking questions of themselves and their firm."

10.23am: Tracker mortgage scandal to cost banks more than €900m, Oireachtas committee hears

By Juno McEnroe 

The head of the Central Bank has said the tracker mortgage rip-off scandal is set to cost banks and lenders who wronged customers more than €900m.

Appearing before the Oireachtas Finance Committee this morning, governor Philip Lane also updated how many of the estimated 33,700 customers affected so far had got redress. 

Mr Lane said the Central Bank was now satisfied that lenders had identified all customers affected after an extra 13,000 were added to the list after last October. 

The cost of the scandal, in which customers were moved off or charged the wrong mortgage interest rate, is set to cost those institutions huge amounts.

He explained: "Lenders are counting the cost of this scandal. In addition to the redress and compensation we require them to pay, these institutions are bearing significant administrative costs to conduct the examination in line with our requirements.

"This can be seen in their provisioning statements and their staffing levels. By way of example, the main lenders have now made combined provisions of circa €900 million in respect of the examination, broken down as approximately €600m for redress and compensation and €300m for costs, while one lender recently disclosed that it had up to 500 people working on its redress scheme. 

These institutions also must repair damaged reputations, not only as a result of the original mishandling of tracker mortgages but also due to the partial and delayed engagement of some lenders with the requirements of this examination."

Only €300m though has been paid out so far to customers, the committee was told: "The end-2017 figures show that lenders have been forced to pay €316 million in redress and compensation. More will follow, as the remainder of the 33,700 customers that were denied tracker products or charged the wrong rates receive redress and compensation and as claims submitted to the independent appeals processes are adjudicated."

Governor Lane is also addressing issues around the culture in banks, enforcement proceedings, payments being made to customers, as well as whether affected borrowers are satisfied with redress or compensation arrangements. 

- Irish Examiner and Digital desk


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