Central Bank meets gardaí over tracker scandal

The Central Bank has met with gardaí in relation to the tracker mortgage scandal, it has confirmed.

Central Bank meets gardaí over tracker scandal

Central Bank governor Philip Lane also said he could not rule out the “hypothesis of collusion” between some lenders, describing the scandal as “systemic and widespread”.

Mr Lane said the scandal could cost up to €500m in compensation and fines.

Head of enforcement at the Central Bank, Derville Rowland, told the Oireachtas finance committee there had been meetings with gardaí . She said the Central Bank would always consider taking cases against individuals if wrongdoing was suspected. However, she said no criminal complaints have been made and the conversations with gardaí were on general terms.

Some 9,900 customer accounts were identified by the end of February as having been wrongly moved off tracker mortgages. The figure is expected to rise to upwards of 15,000. It is believed at least 100 customers lost their homes because of the scandal. So far almost €80m has been paid out to 2,600 customers. There are 15 lenders under review.

The average redress and compensation payment to affected customers so far is around €30,000.

Mr Lane said the Central Bank was determined to ensure there would be proper redress and compensation for all customers. But he warned he was barred from naming and shaming the responsible banks, the number of mortgage accounts affected and how much compensation each lender is being forced to pay out.

The refusal of banks to allow customers to move on to tracker rates first emerged as far back as 2010 — the year taxpayers were lumbered with a multibillion-euro bailout. Also, lenders cannot be forced by the Central Bank to compensate homeowners for tracker issues prior to 201.

In the six years since, banks have repossessed over 7,500 homes and apartments.

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