Central Bank reports ‘suspected criminal’ tracker offences to Garda
Regulator obliged to report potential criminal activity if it comes across it
The Central Bank has previously said that it has been in regular contact with An Garda Síochána and other authorities throughout its wider examination of the tracker issue. Photograph: iStock
The Central Bank has submitted reports of suspected criminal offences to An Garda Síochána in relation to its investigation into the State’s tracker-mortgage scandal, the Oireachtas Finance Committee heard on Wednesday.
Asked by Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty if the regulator has filed such reports, as it is obliged to do by law if it comes instances across potential criminal activity, the Central Bank’s director general for financial conduct Derville Rowland said: “Yes we have.” She declined to identify lenders or comment further.
The Central Bank has previously said that it has been in regular contact with An Garda Síochána and other authorities throughout its wider examination of the tracker issue and as it continues enforcement actions against individual lenders.
An Garda Síochána said on Wednesday that it does not comment on individual cases. “There is currently no investigation into potential criminal activity in relation to this matter. Complaints of this nature reported to An Garda Síochána would be assessed for criminality and a formal investigation would only commence where the assessment process identified credible allegations of criminality,” it said.
Irish lenders have admitted since late 2015 to about 41,700 cases where borrowers were either wrongly denied their right to a cheap mortgage tied to the European Central Bank’s main rate – or put on the wrong rate entirely. They have paid out more than €700 million in refunds and compensation to affected customers to date.
The Central Bank has far fined Permanent TSB, its former subprime unit Spring Mortgages and KBC Bank Ireland a combined figure of almost €44 million for their roles in the debacle. The regulator is continuing to carry out enforcement investigations against four other lenders, including Bank of Ireland, AIB and its EBS unit, and Ulster Bank.