Number of customers hit by tracker mortgage scandal increases by 3,400

The Central Bank says it is using its powers to "force the banks into remedying the scandal they caused"

Number of customers hit by tracker mortgage scandal increases by 3,400

Photo: RollingNews.ie

Updated 17:15

The Central Bank says the number of people identified as having been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal has risen by 3,400 since December.

Tens of thousands of customers of several Irish lenders were overcharged or wrongly denied a tracker rate.

The latest update brings the total number of affected customers to 37,100, and 90% of those have been offered compensation. 

€459 million has now been paid out in redress and compensation, according to the Central Bank.

Around 450 people have received compensation of more than €100,000, while 11 customers received redress and compensation of more than €500,000 for losing their properties.

The Central Bank's investigation is due to be completed by June - with the final number of affected people expected to rise further.

Emotional toll

Financial Adviser Padraic Kissane, who has worked on behalf of people affected by the scandal, has predicted that the number could rise above 40,000.

He said the compensation offered to customers is largely just a refund - warning that the emotional toll on those affected has been "staggering."

"The level of carnage from stress, health issues; putting off children, the effects on children - it reaches everywhere," he said.

"It is off the charts and I don't think that bank in any move to change their culture will get any appreciation for that."

On the Hard Shoulder this evening, he said it is unlikely that individual executive bankers will face sanctions.

"It is unlikely, is my view, because in my experience of dealing with the banks; most of the people that were in the positions of decisions at the time have gone," he said. 

Derville Rowland, director general of financial conduct at the Central Bank, 25-04-2018

Derville Rowland - the Director General of Financial Conduct at the Central Bank - said her organisation recgonises the "devastating effects that lenders’ failures have had on people".

She observed: "We’re using our powers to force the banks into remedying the scandal they caused. The payment of redress and compensation to those affected is now very significantly advanced, and proceeding in line with the timelines set out by the Central Bank.

“As the Central Bank has previously set out, consumers who receive a payment from their bank can cash their cheque safe in the knowledge that they can still appeal the amount they have been awarded. The amount they have been awarded cannot be reduced as a result of an appeal: What they have, they hold.”

Affected customers

Ms Rowland said the amount of customers affected is being "carefully scrutinised" - but admitted the number could rise further by the end of the review in June.

"We are checking those numbers on site with intrusive supervision and we think the vast majority of customers have been identified," she said.

"But as we bring this engagement through to conclusion, we are going to continue to apply a high degree of rigour to our work so that people do receive compensation and redress where it is right that they do so."

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has previously said the tracker scandal "should never have happened", saying the behaviour of banks was "disgraceful".