Belfast Telegraph

People's trust in banks 'deeply shattered', says Tanaiste

The tracker mortgage scandal has brought heartbreak to countless Irish families and shattered people's trust in the country's banks, the Tanaiste has said.

Frances Fitzgerald said trust was something that had to be earned, labelling the over-charging controversy a "sorry saga".

The tracker scandal resulted in thousands of mortgage borrowers being denied their right to lower-cost interest rates by banks, with some having lost their homes as a result.

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe, who has branded the behaviour of the banks as "disgraceful", has warned of tough government action if he does not see sufficient progress by mid-December on compensation, redress and offers of new tracker mortgages.

Ms Fitzgerald defended the government stance on the floor of the Dail, after Fianna Fail's Jim O'Callaghan said the response had been "pathetic".

She then outlined the human toll wreaked by the financial furore.

"Trust has to be earned by the banks and at this point people certainly their trust has been deeply shattered," she said.

The minister said her thoughts were with every family impacted.

"The reality is it has been heartbreaking for countless families across the country who have suffered endlessly," she said.

"Some families have lost their homes and indeed some have suffered various terrible mental health stresses, marriages have been impacted and there have been years of unnecessary pressure on people who were doing their best investing in their own futures."

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