AIB primed to take €190m tracker mortgage hit

It expects to pay a whole lot in compensation to thousands of affected customers...

AIB has earmarked €190 million euro to compensate customers affected by the tracker mortgage scandal.

The bank, which is 99.8% State-owned, has admitted that it wrongly moved 3,003 mortgage holders off tracker loans, with 14 people ultimately losing their homes as a result of the error.

CEO Bernard Byrne has confirmed that 2,230 of those have already been sent letters of redress.

The Irish Examiner has reported that the number of those affected may be even higher than the bank's estimate, which was revealed in its latest annual results, released in March 2016. It is one of 15 institutions caught up in the scandal which was first uncovered two years ago.

Last month, the Central Bank stated that at least 8,200 Irish mortgage account holders have been denied a tracker rate by their lender.

It said that it expects that lenders will have "identified and commenced engagement" with those customers affected by the middle of 2017, with more cases likely to have emerged by then and indications that the total number affected will 10,000.

Appearing before the Oireachtas finance committee, Central Bank Governor Philip Lane said that there have been "far too many cases" of borrowers being denied tacker rates. 

He said:

"This is absolutely unacceptable, and it is the reason why we decided that a broader examination of tracker-related issues was warranted and why we are ensuring such a comprehensive examination is being undertaken.

"Let me assure you, the Central Bank will take all necessary action to hold regulated firms and individuals to account for failures in relation to tracker mortgages. The process we are overseeing is exhaustive but takes time."