Banks name panels for consumers’ tracker mortgage appeals

Unclear how many of 33,000 impacted parties will challenge redress and compensation

Former chief executive of the National Consumer Agency Ann Fitzgerald will join other independent appointees hearing consumers’ appeals on the tracker mortgage scandal. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former chief executive of the National Consumer Agency Ann Fitzgerald will join other independent appointees hearing consumers’ appeals on the tracker mortgage scandal. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

As the tracker mortgage redress and compensation programme gathers pace, banks have set up appeals panels to deal with the potentially thousands of customers who may query what their bank is offering them.

As part of their redress and compensation programmes, banks have been asked by the Central Bank to set up two independent panels to deal with appeals – one for more serious cases, such as borrowers losing their homes, and another for more routine appeals.

According to Bank of Ireland, it has charged professional services firm Grant Thornton to provide independent secretarial services to its appeals panels, and to act as an interface between the panels and customers appealing. Two partners from Beauchamps Solicitors, Imelda Reynolds and Emer Moriarty Crowley, will chair the panels, while the two financial experts are Eamonn Siggins, chief executive of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, and Pat Costello, a retired former chief executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland. Its two consumer voices are PJ Fitzpatrick, partner with executive coaches Praesta and former chief executive of the Courts Services of Ireland, and Denis Cagney, a retired director of the Commission for Energy Regulation.

DCU professor

Over at AIB, Mazars will take on the secretariat role, led by partner Eugene McMahon, assisted by law firm DAC Beachcroft, whose partners Lisa Broderick and Gary Rice will chair the panels. Representing consumers will be Ann Fitzgerald, former chief executive of the National Consumer Agency; Ita Mangan, chairperson of the Citizens Information Board; and Prof Kevin Rafter, professor and head of the school of communications in Dublin City University.

KBC Bank has appointed BDO as its independent secretariat, but has declined to name the other members of its panels, as has Ulster Bank.

Permanent TSB, which set up its panel in 2015, appointed former Law Society president James McCourt, who is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, as chair, and former insurance ombudsman Caroline Gill and chartered accountant Cyril Maybury, a member of the audit committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Appeals

To date some 33,000 property owners have been impacted as part of the tracker mortgage review, but it is as yet unclear how many will challenge their offers of redress and compensation.

While AIB said its appeal process is “ongoing”, it is still too early to ascertain how many mortgage customers may appeal their offers; figures last year showed that about one in five customers of Permanent TSB, which started its redress programme back in 2015, did so.

However, commentators suggest that if you are in line for compensation and redress you should consider an appeal.

“I believe that most customers should avail of the appeal procedures,” says Jim Stafford, managing director of Friel Stafford, noting that most banks have made an offer on a mathematical basis, and appealing allows the bank to assess new information such as the level of stress or personal costs the loss of a tracker has had on people.