Ulster Bank says 15 customers lost home due to tracker scandal

Bank says it had paid redress and compensation to 1,000 customers by end of 2017

Speaking at the Joint Committee on the Tracker Mortgage Redress Issue chief financial officer of Ulster Bank, Paul Stanley, acknowledged that Ulster Bank made approximately €100 million from the tracker-mortgage-scandal. Video: Oireachtas TV

 

Some 15 Ulster Bank customers lost their home as a result of their mortgage being changed from a tracker rate, the bank will tell an Oireachtas committee on Thursday.

As of November last year, the bank had identified some 3,500 customers who were moved off the tracker rate. In line with the process defined by the Central Bank to “stop further harm” to customers, about 2,500 existing mortgage holders were returned to their correct tracker rate.

Some 53 customers were not returned to the tracker rate because that would have resulted in a net increase in monthly mortgage repayments.

The remaining 1,000 customers have redeemed their mortgage, but are still included as part of the remediation and redress programme.

In a submission in advance of its appearance at the Oireachtas finance committee, Ulster Bank noted it had a team of more than 200 people working on the tracker mortgage issue.

Forensic review

“As part of the tracker mortgage examination, Ulster Bank has conducted a forensic review of thousands of customer accounts and their monthly transactions that occurred over a 15-year period,” it said.

Of the total identified as being wronged, Ulster said it had paid redress and compensation to 1,000 customers by the end of 2017 and committed to increasing that to 2,500 customers by the end of the first quarter this year.

At the end of 2016, the provision established by the bank in respect of the tracker scandal was €211 million.

As of June last year, Ulster Bank’s total gross mortgages were €17.5 billion, with tracker rate products accounting for about 64 per cent, or €11.2 billion, of that.

Commenting in advance of Ulster Bank’s update to the finance committee, committee chairman John McGuinness said the group is “keen to learn how and why the bank denied customers a tracker mortgage product or overcharged other customers, resulting in unnecessary financial hardship for so many”.