Belfast Telegraph

Number caught up in tracker mortgage scandal soars

The number of people caught up in the tracker mortgage scandal has soared to 33,700, official figures have shown.

The Central Bank said close to 300 million euro was being paid out to affected consumers by KBC Bank Ireland, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB, with more to be paid.

Governor Philip Lane said the review had thrown up evidence of the devastating impact on families and individuals who were denied a lower-cost tracker mortgage in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

"Many lenders publicly state that they put customers first. The evidence of the examination that we have seen suggests otherwise," he said.

The Central Bank said the majority of customers identified at the end of September have been paid redress and compensation and others can bank their offer, with the guarantee that even if they appeal the money is theirs.

Mr Lane said: 'It is important to note that customers can accept the redress and compensation offered and still make an appeal - they can "cash the cheque" safe in the knowledge that what they have, they hold.

"Redress and compensation offers cannot be reduced if a customer makes an appeal."

KBC said its total for affected customers has increased to 3,545 as the reviews progressed.

Bank of Ireland confirmed in November that it identified another 6,000 borrowers who had been overcharged, bringing its total to 14,500, including 5,000 who had been addressed in 2010.

AIB's number of affected customers is up to 5,402.

Ulster Bank had 3,500 customers on the wrong rates and Permanent TSB 1,980.

In a statement KBC said it apologised again.

"These mistakes should not have happened, and we acknowledge that they have caused significant detriment to some of the bank's customers," it said.

"We cannot undo the past, but we can provide remediation and learn from mistakes."

Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland chief executive, said: "We are working hard to make things right for all impacted customers and are continuing to work closely with them to ensure that we can fix this issue, as sensitively as we can, in all cases."

Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said: "The real story behind today's update is that the lenders did not voluntarily reveal the full extent of the tracker mortgage scandal."

Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Pearse Doherty said: "Put bluntly the banks have been dragged to this point by pressure from their victims and their representatives. Their actions have not matched their words.

"They have cried crocodile tears in public while working behind the scenes to prevent these cases being accepted as legitimate."

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