A customer of Permanent TSB has settled a tracker mortgage case with the majority State-owned bank, in what was considered to be a test case querying the tracker margin the customer had been put on as part of PTSB's redress scheme.
Previous tracker mortgage court cases have focused on breach of contract or the amount of compensation received.
The case, Geraghty v PTSB plc, was due to be heard at the High Court on June 25th, but was struck out on Thursday, May 23rd, after a settlement agreement, which included costs in favour of the plaintiff, was reached.
While the level of compensation received is not known, the High Court hears cases involving claims for damages in excess of €75,000, or €60,000 in personal injury cases. PTSB declined to comment on the case.
It's understood that the plaintiff, represented by Niall Kiernan of Lawlor Partners, first brought the case against PTSB in 2015, querying the tracker rate margin that had been applied to their loan.
After receiving compensation of some €30,000 for having been part of the original redress scheme at the bank, it’s understood that the plaintiff subsequently took a case against PTSB querying why they were offered what the bank deemed to be an “appropriate” rate of 2.25 per cent above the ECB rate, arguing that they were entitled to a tracker rate margin of 1.1 per cent above the ECB rate, and thus should be entitled to further compensation.
As part of PTSB’s redress programme, customers who accepted compensation from the bank were not precluded from a taking a further case via the courts.
A number of cases have now been settled with PTSB following on from the bank’s tracker mortgage redress scheme.
In 2017, Maria Page sued the bank for breach of contract, when she discovered she was part of the redress scheme as she had not been offered the choice of a tracker rate when the term of her fixed-rate mortgage had expired. It's understood that her settlement was for a sum that was a multiple of what was first offered by the bank.
It's now some seven years since the tracker mortgage scandal first broke, but despite the commencement of an examination scheme by the Central Bank of Ireland in 2015, the process has yet to come to an end.
Central Bank figures suggest some 40,000 borrowers have been affected to date, across the various banks. In April, PTSB chief executive Jeremy Masding said the lender had completed refunds and compensation for 99 per cent of its 1,983 impacted tracker mortgage loan accounts.
The scandal, which saw thousands of mortgage customers either denied access to a tracker, or charged an incorrect rate on their tracker mortgage, is expected to cost the country’s six main lenders about €1 billion in refunds, compensation and other costs.