Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (252)

Michael McGrath

Question:

252. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number of tracker mortgage cases in the internal complaints procedures in the banks; the number of tracker mortgage cases with the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman; the number of tracker mortgage cases that have been appealed to the High Court; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34062/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Central Bank has advised that the supervisory phase Examination has now concluded and the final Tracker Mortgage Examination (TME) report was published by the Bank on 16 July 2019 (https://www.centralbank.ie/docs/default-source/consumer-hub-library/tracker-issues/update-on-tracker-mortgage-examination---july-2019.pdf?sfvrsn=6).

While the Bank is satisfied that the supervisory phase of the Examination can be concluded, it has also indicated that it will continue to monitor the outcome of any tracker related complaints, appeals and court cases.

The Tracker Examination Framework required lenders to establish an independent appeals process to deal with customers who were dissatisfied with any aspect of the redress and compensation offer made to them by their lender. The Central Bank’s final TME Report states that at 31 May, c. 3,300 customers had appealed to their lenders the original compensation offer they received. This represents c. 10 per cent of customers who have received payment. In respect of appeals lodged at end May, c. 1,800 appeal outcomes have been decided upon by Appeals Panels but with a further 1,500 still to be decided. Of the c. 1,800 appeals decided, 55 per cent have been upheld/partially upheld and 45 per cent have not been upheld. The majority of appeals upheld arise from awards for additional detriment of which the lender may not have been aware at the time of the original redress and compensation awarded. At 31 May 2019, the various banks Appeals Panels have awarded c. €7 million additional compensation to affected customers.

Furthermore, where affected customers have complained to their lender including where they remain dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint, and do not accept the findings of the Appeals Panels, they also retain the option to bring a complaint to the Financial Services Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO). Customers deemed by their lender not to be affected by tracker related failures also have the right to make a complaint on their individual case within specific time limits set out in the FSPO’s governing legislation. The FSPO has the power to direct both compensation and rectification as appropriate. I have been advised by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman that at the end of June 2019, it had 1,141 tracker mortgage related complaints on hand.

The Central Bank is also committed to monitoring the outcome of any court cases relevant to the tracker issue and more generally is also committed to conducting more frequent, targeted conduct supervision of those firms that pose the greatest potential harm to consumers.