Up to 200 Permanent TSB customers could be entitled to compensation for wrongly being denied a tracker mortgage rate.
The banking sector has now been urged to be proactive in identifying customers who may be on incorrect rates and offer them redress instead of “dragging their heels, and in some instances fighting cases against impacted customers”.
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesman Pearse Doherty has written to PTSB on foot of a case that came before the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO).
In that case, a customer was found to have been wrongly denied a tracker rate on his mortgage, which resulted in them being overcharged for several years.
PTSB has said that “less than 200 accounts” will be impacted by the complaint being upheld by the FPSO but that the bank’s position was that this particular account was deemed to be “not impacted” in the Tracker Mortgage Examination that took place in the wake of the tracker crisis several years ago.
The Tracker Mortgage Examination was a Central Bank-supervised examination of tracker mortgages administered by banks which led to the identification of 40,100 affected customers and €683million paid out in redress and compensation.
PTSB was fined €21million in 2019 for its role in the industry-wide scandal, which highlighted how some customers of banks lost their homes on foot of being overcharged for their mortgages. Mr Doherty said PTSB’s role in it “ranged from significant overcharging to the loss of 12 family homes”.
“It is also three years since the Central Bank concluded its Tracker Mortgage Examination,” he said.
“Despite this, Permanent TSB fought and lost a complaint that was upheld earlier this year, with the Ombudsman finding that a customer was wrongly denied a tracker mortgage rate and overcharged for several years.
“Having engaged with the customer and PTSB, the bank informed me that up to 200 other customers could be similarly affected and due compensation.”
Mr Doherty added that there could still be customers out there “who are victims of the tracker mortgage scandal and don’t know it”.
PTSB told the Donegal TD that as part of its ongoing monitoring of tracker complaints through the FSPO, it was currently assessing the implications of this judgement for other customers.
It informed the Central Bank of the case and said it was committed to updating the regulator on its analysis and the actions it would be taking. The bank also said it would be engaging directly with any impacted customers.
A PTSB spokesperson said: “PTSB has provided redress and compensation to the customers who were identified during its tracker mortgage review as having had a right to a tracker mortgage. This case (heard by the FSPO) involves a customer who was not deemed impacted in the Tracker Mortgage Examination.
“Permanent TSB has notified the Central Bank of Ireland of the FSPO decision and is currently reviewing implications for other customers. While it is too early to determine the final number of such accounts, we estimate it will be less than 200.”