Serious questions need to be asked of Central Bank’s handling of tracker issue – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said serious questions now need to be asked of the Central Bank over its handling of the tracker mortgage scandal. He was speaking in light of a €4.5m fine being imposed on Permanent TSB for its Springboard operation and the scandalous details about the banks’ handling of the tracker cases that emerged during the Finance Committee hearings in recent days.
Deputy Doherty said:
“It is reported that at least 8,500 cases of a family being wrongly moved off a tracker mortgage have been identified at the five largest banks. We are now looking at an industry wide theft of massive proportions. Yet, it is now five years since the Financial Services Ombudsman first ruled in favour of mortgage holders’ complaints about being moved off trackers. It is over four years since the High Court backed up that ruling.
“Now five years on, thousands are still waiting for redress. The Ombudsman and Courts stood up for the people’s rights but the Central Bank is still moving at snail’s pace. Only last year, under huge political pressure, did they finally announce an industry wide trawl to identify the extent of the problem.
“For the last couple of weeks, the Finance Committee has heard bank after bank spinning excuses and trying to justify the thousands of trackers cases as being down to ‘system failures’ or other excuses. They have been able to get away with this because they know the Central Bank has, so far, not been up to the task of protecting consumers.
“I will be quizzing more banks and the Minister over this issue in the coming days. I will not be accepting any excuses from the banks or from the Central Bank. The banks have been caught red-handed; the question is why the Central Bank let them away with it for so long even after the scandal emerged.”