Central Bank governor expects tracker mortgage repayments by Christmas

The government may introduce additional bank levies if redress and compensation is not satisfactory

Central Bank governor expects tracker mortgage repayments by Christmas

Governor of Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane talking to the media while arriving at the Department of Finance, 22-10-2017. Image: Leah Farrell/ RollingNews

Updated 14:05

The Governor of the Central Bank has said he thinks the majority of customers caught up in the tracker mortgage scandal will be repaid before Christmas.

Philip Lane was speaking as some of the banks meet with the government to explain how they will deal with the issue.

He refused to put a figure on the final compensation bill which is already at €160m - with more customers yet to be identified.

"Already we have seen over €160m paid out and that is only in relation to a fraction of the cases," he said.

"We are not going to put any limit on the amount paid out.

"It is up to the banks to make fair and generous offers to those affected so that the full scale of the harm is remedied."

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is spending the day in meetings  with the executives of three major banks - KBC, Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland - regarding the tracker mortgage scandal.

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already warned the government may introduce additional bank levies if the level of redress and compensation is not satisfactory by Christmas.

However, David Hall, CEO of Irish Mortgage Holders Association said today's meetings are too little too late.

"Two and a half years after the fact and a Central Bank impotent to deal with these banks," he said.

"The minister is parading them in and out for political expediency today and where are the customers?

"I don't see a queue of customers going in to see the minister. Has there been an invitation issued to meet the customers? No."

He labelled the meetings a "political pantomime" adding that they are "all waffle, huff and puff and as the proverb says, 'I will huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down.'"

It comes as the Labour Party warned that the Tracker Mortgage scandal demonstrates once again that the Irish banking system cannot be trusted to deal honestly with the Irish people.

The party’s spokesperson on health, Alan Kelly said the Irish people have taken as much as they can stand:

“I don’t know how you compensate people who have lost their homes but everybody needs to be compensated,” he said.

“It is not acceptable that there are a number of people who do not even know they have been defrauded yet.

“It is not acceptable that there is not a timeline in place to put people back on their correct mortgages and also to have them compensated.”

Minister Donohoe will brief the Cabinet on the outcome of the talks at a special meeting this evening.

He will then hold further meetings with executives from other banks this Wednesday.