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More crocodile tears from banks but no action on trackers so far – Doherty

1 December, 2016 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said today’s apologies from Ulster Bank amounts only to ‘crocodile tears’ until the 2,000 customers have their tracker mortgages restored and are given full redress plus compensation.  In particular, he expressed anger that the CEO of Ulster Bank was unable to give a figure as to how many people lost their home as a result of the move off trackers, although it  could be as high as 15.

Deputy Doherty said:

“Once again, we hear apologies and see crocodile tears from a major bank while it admits, moments later, it hasn’t restored any families to their tracker mortgages as is their right. Customers affected at Ulster Bank have been strung along with a standard letter every 60 days telling them this is still under investigation even though some of these cases have been identified months ago. It is time for Ulster Bank like the other banks to start cleaning up the mess they made.

“While I do welcome the fact that Ulster Bank made a commitment to get the majority of families back on to the trackers they are entitled to by Christmas or very soon after, this is far too late given the cost to those families of the bank’s actions.

“Were it not for individuals seeking their rights and the Financial Services Ombudsman and political pressure, the Central Bank would never have instigated an industry wide investigation. Were it not for that prompting, these 2,000 Ulster Bank customers might still be paying full rates without any action from Ulster Bank. This whole episode has shown up the weakness of the Central Bank in proactively asserting its consumer protection role and the arrogance and reluctance of the banks to put right their wrongdoing even after it is long established.”

On the issue of the controversial Global Restructuring Group operated by Ulster Bank, Deputy Doherty said:

“What I heard today has only deepened my conviction that the Central Bank needs to investigate this section of Ulster Bank that took in over 2,000 businesses but only saw around 100 come out the other side. I will be asking the Finance Committee to write to the Central Bank asking them to consider an investigation into the role the Global Restructuring Group played.” 

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