IBRC liquidators examine INBS tracker rate concerns

Taxpayers could face bill for redress of up to 29,000 affected Irish Nationwide customers

Details of the Irish Nationwide accounts were disclosed in a parliamentary question reply from the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Details of the Irish Nationwide accounts were disclosed in a parliamentary question reply from the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

 

The special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation are examining 29,000 mortgage customer accounts of the former Irish Nationwide Building Society to see if any of them might have been denied a tracker rate over the past decade or so.

This is part of the Central Bank’s industry-wide review of tracker mortgages, which began in December 2015.

Details of the Irish Nationwide accounts were disclosed in a reply from the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to a parliamentary question from Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty.

“The review of these in-scope accounts is ongoing and it is estimated to be completed in the coming weeks,” the Minister said, adding that no redress has yet been offered by the liquidators.

“It is important to note that, while an account may be in-scope for the purposes of the Central Bank of Ireland tracker mortgage examination, the special liquidators have advised that this does not necessarily follow that detriment has been suffered by each and every customer. The final number of customers who have been affected will be known in the coming weeks.”

The Minister said redress for affected customers would be “determined following the conclusion of the examination”.

‘Startling’

Mr Doherty said the figures associated with IBRC were “startling” and has written to the Oireachtas finance committee asking that the questionnaire previously sent to all the banks on the issue also be sent to the IBRC liquidators.

“At no time has the Central Bank put these potential cases on the record,” he said. “The delay in simply assessing the cases is very concerning. We are talking about up to 29,000 affected families who might still have no idea that they are included in the review.

“It is not clear whether they have even been contacted yet. What we are sure of is that none have received or been offered redress to date. These customers should be treated exactly the same as customers at any other bank caught up in this scandal.”

The governor of the Central Bank, Philip Lane, is due to appear before the Oireachtas finance committee on Tuesday morning to update members on the tracker review process and other matters.

In March, the Central Bank said €78 million had been paid by lenders to 2,600 mortgage account holders in redress and compensation for being denied a tracker rate. Some 9,900 affected customers had been identified by lenders for redress by the end of February.

The bill for any redress of Irish Nationwide customers would effectively be met by taxpayers as part of IBRC’s liquidation.