Donohoe to ‘admonish’ banks next week on tracker mortgage row

Government has ‘lost patience’, will impose sanctions if action unsatisfactory – Taoiseach

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is set to “admonish” bank chiefs over the delay in dealing with thousands of people affected by the tracker mortgage controversy. File photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will rap bank chief executives on the knuckles when he meets them next week to discuss the tracker mortgage controversy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Mr Donohoe will call the bank bosses in to meetings on Monday and Wednesday to "admonish" them over the delay in dealing with the 13,000 people affected by the controversy.

Some have estimated that up to 30,000 people in all were wrongly removed from their tracker mortgage rate.

Mr Varadkar said “as a Government we have lost patience” with the banks, and described the controversy as “scandalous”.


Further action would be taken if the banks did not move to resolve the issue and the Government would impose sanctions, the Taoiseach added.

Contractual obligations

Labour leader Brendan Howlin had called on the Government to consider amending legislation to tackle banks which ignored their contractual obligations to mortgage holders.

He said the banks' actions could only be described as "malpractice", and hit out at the Central Bank which he said was moving too slowly on the issue when people had been "ripped over to the tune of thousands".

The Wexford TD called on the Taoiseach to write to the Central Bank to ask them to publish the names of the banks that had failed to co-operate.

Mr Varadkar said the Minister for Finance would be contacting the Central Bank to give out that message.

If the two banks that had failed to co-operate did not give a satisfactory reply by the end of October, their names would be published, he said.

The Taoiseach said redress should be under way by year’s end but agreed with Mr Howlin that a clear timeline was needed for this.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times