Banks look to rebuild trust after tracker scandal with new standards body

Move comes as figures show tracker scandal likely to cost banks in excess of €1bn

It is envisaged that the board will be up and running by late 2018

Irish banks are looking to persuade the public that they can be trusted with a new initiative which will show they have turned over a new leaf after the tracker mortgage scandal.

With recent figures showing that the number of customers affected by the scandal stands at a minimum 33,700, the chief executive of the five main banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank – have announced plans to establish an Irish Banking Standards Board to promote high standards in the industry and rebuild confidence in the sector.

The introduction of the board, which is to be broadly modelled on a similar body established by financial institutions in the UK in 2015, has been welcomed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

It is proposed that the board, which will not be allowed to act as a lobbying or representative organisation, will be made up of experts from across society. It will be chaired by an independent person from outside the banking sector who is deemed to have “the personal respect, credibility and trust of citizens”.


Ethical standards

It is envisaged the board will be up and running by late 2018.

The board is intended to promote the highest ethical business standards possible by the sector as well as to drive an improvement in culture across the industry and develop a code of practice.

The five main banks have signalled that they have either taken, or expect to take, up to €890 million of provisions to resolve the tracker mortgage controversy. Analysts see the eventual cost to banks in excess of €1 billion.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist