Banks admit more homes lost in tracker fallout

Up to 10 more customers of Permanent TSB have lost their homes on top of the 22 already known from the fallout of the tracker mortgage scandal, while KBC Ireland had said it has still not contacted many customers wrongly put on more expensive loans.

Banks admit more homes lost in tracker fallout

Permanent TSB officials including group chief executive Jeremy Masding told the Oireachtas Finance Committee it had identified 579 new customers on the wrong rate since engaging in the Central Bank’s industry review.

On top of the 1,372 customers it had identified as part of its own review that began in July 2015, the bank said it had found 579 new cases by June when it completed the second phase of the review ordered by the Central Bank.

Of the 1,372 customers originally identified, Permanent TSB said 98% had their losses redressed and compensation given.

A quarter of the new 579 cases have still not been put back on the correct rate, while up to 10 have lost their homes, the bank said. All will be put on the correct rate in the next few weeks, it said.

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty said it was unacceptable a bank backed by the State had not put people on the correct tracker rate, not to mind compensate them. He added it was “infuriating” new cases were found and that more homes were lost.

“You are sitting here and telling us you are still wrongly charging customers… You found 1,372 originally and were going to leave it at that, but the Central Bank came in. Until personal accountability comes into the financial sector, and individuals are held to account, this will continue to go on.”

Mr Masding said he was giving “my word” the book had not been closed on the tracker issue but the new cases were found because the bank started looking at the issue in a broader way.

KBC Ireland chief executive Wim Verbraeken said the bank would not meet a deadline imposed by the Central Bank for the second phase of the tracker mortgage review.

Saying he would not even put an estimate on when its second phase review would be completed, Mr Verbraeken refused to disclose how many customers were put on the wrong rate, and also refused to give a figure of how much had been set aside by the bank for redress of customers.

Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath told Mr Verbraeken of all the banks in the review, it had been the source of the most frustration.

“I find it extraordinary. You began in March 2016 and we are a year and a half on and you still have no handle on it. What does that signal to customers, and their loyalty and goodwill?”

Mr Verbraeken said the bank had not written to all customers whose accounts were being examined.

He added that he was “not the intention to be evasive” in his answers but that the review that it began in March 2016 was very complex.

He said the bank would wait for the review to be completed fully before disclosing various details such as a provision of funds for redress purposes.

He did acknowledge that KBC Ireland expected homes were lost by its customers in the scandal but declined to offer a specific number.

Committee chairman John McGuinness told Mr Verbraeken he had “offered nothing in consolation for customers” during KBC Ireland’s “deeply disappointing” presentation.

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