Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Questions (42)

Brian Stanley


42. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Finance if he is satisfied that all affected cohorts of tracker scandal victims have been treated fairly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25534/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Central Bank’s Tracker Examination is focused on ensuring that lenders provide fair outcomes for all groups of customers impacted by tracker related failings both from a contractual and transparency perspective.  

The Examination is the largest, most complex and most significant supervisory review that the Bank has undertaken to date under its consumer protection mandate and requires all lenders, which offered tracker interest rate mortgages to their customers, to review all mortgage accounts, including accounts in arrears, to identify any tracker related failings both from a contractual and transparency perspective. The Central Bank does not make the decision on what is impacted or not, this is the responsibility of the lender. However, the Central Bank reviews and challenges the lender, where appropriate, on its conclusion.

Where affected customers have complained to their lender and remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint, and do not accept the findings of the Appeals Panel, they also retain the option to bring a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman  or FSPO. The FSPO presents customers with a means of resolving their complaint in an independent, fair and transparent manner that takes account of their unique personal circumstances, through an informal dispute resolution process or formal investigation.

As noted in the Central Bank Tracker Mortgage Examination Redress and Compensation penultimate Update, which was published in February 2019, the Examination has now been completed at the majority of lenders.  In the case of the remaining lenders, supervision work continues, as the Central Bank must ensure that the work carried out by lenders is sufficiently rigorous and thorough to have addressed satisfactorily any remaining issues affecting groups of customers and to ensure that all eligible groups of customers are included for redress and compensation.

In addition, the Central Bank Governor noted in his opening statement when he appeared before the Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach on 26 March this year that a total of €665 million has so far been provided to impacted customers. This figure includes €47 million for redress and compensation to impacted customers identified outside of the industry wide examination.

The Central Bank’s priority at all times throughout the Examination has been to make sure that all affected groups of customers have been identified and remediated.  The Government supports the work carried out by the Central Bank and I have been advised by the Bank that a final update on the Tracker Mortgage Examination will be published in the coming weeks.