Irish banking faces another overcharging scandal, as EBS investigates the way it has bundled charges for building and life insurance payments and mortgage protection insurance into its monthly mortgage bills.
The costs of a record €21m fine the Central Bank imposed on Permanent TSB for its part in the industry-wide tracker mortgage probe should not be passed onto customers in higher loan costs and fees, the financial adviser who did the most to uncover the scandal has urged.
Philip O’Leary, managing partner of Cork law firm FitzGerald Legal & Advisory, has been appointed as a board member to the Irish Banking Culture Board (IBCB), funded by Ireland’s five main retail banks with the aim of rebuilding trust in the sector.
The new chief at Bank of Ireland has pledged the bank will do a lot better as the bank’s directors faced a barrage of criticism from shareholders over its care of customers, the alleged lack of staff at its branches, and mistakes such as cheques being cashed with the wrong amounts.
The Central Bank has been accused of a “dereliction of duty” after advising customers in dispute with banks over the tracker mortgage scandal to contact the financial services ombudsman or take legal proceedings themselves — despite believing the banks in question are in the wrong.
The tracker mortgage scandal will, “without a shadow of a doubt”, affect more than 30,000 customers before the authorities get to grips with the matter, far higher than the 15,000 currently estimated by the Central Bank.