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Still no accountability for tracker scandal - Pearse Doherty TD

30 May, 2019 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has welcomed the €21m fine that has been imposed on Permanent TSB but has said there must be accountability for the tens of millions of euro taken from customers’ accounts.

Teachta Doherty also questioned why the Central Bank applied the maximum 30% discount under an early settlement scheme when Permanent TSB are still to this day settling cases.

The Donegal TD said:

“I welcome what is hopefully going to be the first of many fines levied in this round of investigation on the banks for their scandalous treatment of customers in the Tracker scandal.

"The €21m fine is only a fraction of the money taken from customers’ accounts over a sustained period. What is missing still though is individual accountability.

"The Central Bank says Permanent TSB admitted 42 failings and has paid out €54.3m in redress and compensation but yet nobody has lost their job or faced sanctions. 

"Millions were wrongly taken from customers without anybody being held responsible. Individual accountability is the real deterrent and it is still absent.

"Twelve families lost their homes and nineteen buy-to-lets were lost as a result of these actions. Two thousand account holders suffered unnecessarily.

"These human consequences can’t be ignored. Crucially the Central Bank speaks about a 'decision to deny certain customers their correct tracker rate'.

"Systems don’t make decisions - people do, so why is nobody being held accountable?

"I am concerned at the Central Bank’s application of the maximum 30% discount under its settlement scheme. Only this week Permanent TSB were settling out of court cases regarding trackers.

"Settling early with the Central Bank is not enough if customers are still being fought tooth and nail.

"Let’s not forget that Permanent TSB fought its own customers through an appeals mechanism to the Financial Services Ombudsman right up to the steps of the Supreme Court.

"I will examine this decision in more detail but my initial reaction is that fines alone are not sufficient to allow this scandal to be closed, accountability must follow. That will be the test of the Central Bank’s handling of this issue.”

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