Tracker scandal ‘still not over for hundreds’ – Doherty
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said despite the publication of the Central Bank’s final report on the tracker mortgage scandal, for hundreds of customers there is still some way to go including through the court system.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“I welcome the publication of this report. It should be compulsory reading for all those pushing for easing of bankers’ pay and bonus caps. Ninety-nine family homes were lost because of the banks’ incompetence or underhandedness. A further 216 rental properties were lost causing great hardship to both owner and tenants.
“This scandal was not victimless and nor it was without perpetrators. The search for accountability does not end today. Each one of the 40,000 victims has a story to tell. For some, no amount of compensation and redress will heal the wounds caused.
“It is worth noting that only 40% of the cases would have been included if the banks left to their own devices. The Central Bank had to engage 220 times with the lenders to get to this point. Let’s remember that when we hear once more about how contrite the banks are. They have been dragged kicking and screaming every step of the way. I note that after an initial hands-off approach the Central Bank did step up on this issue.
“I have recently written to both the Central Bank and Financial Services and Pension Ombudsman (FSPO) regarding my concerns at the on-going ‘prevailing rate’ issue and specifically a recent out-of-court settlement in such a case made by Permanent TSB.
“While the Central Bank reassured me that it is engaged with ‘all lenders to monitor the outcome of any complaints, appeals and court cases’, the FSPO informed me that he is ‘not aware of the detail of the case or the settlement reached’.
“I am concerned that there are potentially thousands of people who will be forced to go through a lengthy and expensive court case when the principles have already been established.
“Transparency must remain central in the remaining cases. The FSPO informs me there are 1,400 cases related to trackers with the body. It is thanks to my legislation which scrapped the six-year limit on complaints that many of these cases will be able to be heard.
“All necessary resources and assistance must be provided so that they are dealt with as quickly as possible. As far as I am concerned, this scandal is not over until the last case has been settled conclusively and until the bankers responsible are held individually accountable.
“This is not ‘bank bashing’- it is about ensuring that there is one law for all in our society and no special treatment for white collar crime or recklessness.”