How to keep track of the tracker mortgage scandal
Not sure what the scandal is about or whether your mortgage is affected? Read on
The Central Bank of Ireland is “the only game in town”, says financial consultant Padraic Kissane. Photograph: Alan Betson
Could I have been caught up in the tracker mortgage scandal?
Possibly. If you were ever on a tracker and were taken off it – for whatever reason – you could be one of those affected, although that is by no means certain.
How would I know?
The banks committed to going through their loan books to find all those who were affected. They were ordered by the Central Bank to make contact with those customers affected.
I have not heard anything from my bank – does that mean I was not affected?
No, not everyone who was wrongly denied a tracker has been contacted, and the banks and the Central Bank are still arguing over some accounts that the regulator believes were affected despite claims to the contrary by some banks. Many thousands more have been affected than the 13,000 or so that are currently in the system.
So do I just have to wait until the Central Bank process is over?
Right now he Central Bank is “the only game in town”, says financial consultant Padraic Kissane, who has been to the fore in fighting on behalf of people stripped of their trackers.
But surely I could take a legal action against my bank myself?
You could. The legal avenue is open to anyone who believes they have been wronged. But that process is slow and very expensive. And many of those worst affected simply do not have the financial resources to take a High Court action, which is why the best advice is still to wait for the process to end.
When will it end?
It is progressing very slowly. This all started in 2015. Some banks have been proactive in dealing with cases; AIB and PTSB have dealt with a significant number of cases already. Ulster Bank have started to move. Bank of Ireland and KBC, on the other hand, have been very slow off the mark.
What will I be entitled to if I was taken off a tracker illegally?
You will have to have the tracker restored. All the interest you overpaid will have to be repaid to you – or used pay off the mortgage. And you will be entitled to compensation.
Who decides the level of compensation?
The bank in the first instance. But the Central Bank has a say it deciding if that compensation is sufficient and it says it has been pushing back against some lowball offers and demanding banks do more.
What powers does the Central Bank have?
They are limited. It cannot order banks to pay a certain level of compensation by a certain time. It can take legal action against banks if it does not believe they are co-operating with the process and those actions may ultimately lead to fines.