Oral Questions – Finance – Tracker Mortgage Scandal

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Clare submitted questions to to the Minister for Finance on the tracker mortgage scandal and progress on identifying all those affected. Unfortunately her questions were not selected from the lottery for debate, but you can read the Minister’s responses below.

For Oral Answer on : 30/11/2017
Question Number(s): 38 Question Reference(s): 50802/17
Department: Finance
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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Finance further to parliamentary question number 17 of 24 October 2017, the progress of his examination; if an appropriate framework is in place to allow persons a simple and effective route to resolve complaints in regard to financial service providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

Following the conclusion of my meetings with the CEOs of the main banks on the tracker mortgage issue, I issued a statement setting out the position and the next steps I expected to be taken towards resolution of this issue. I have asked the Governor of the Central Bank to provide me with a progress report by around mid-December on whether each of the banks have made acceptable and sufficient progress in line with their commitments. I have also mandated the Central Bank under section 6A of the Central Bank Act 1942 to prepare a report for me on the current cultures and behaviours and the associated risks in the retail banks today and the actions that may be taken to ensure that banks prioritise customer interests in the future.

The outcome of these reports will feed into my examination of possible further changes to the framework for the protection of consumers of financial services. I would also welcome any proposals that the Deputy may have in this regard.

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For Oral Answer on : 30/11/2017
Question Number(s): 54 Question Reference(s): 50803/17
Department: Finance
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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Finance if he has satisfied himself that the Central Bank is sufficiently empowered to identify all persons affected by the tracker mortgage scandal as part of its investigation of same in view of the recent revelation that an additional 6,000 persons had been overcharged by a bank (details supplied) eighteen months after the commencement of Phase 2 of the investigation which requires banks to identify persons impacted by the scandal. (Details Supplied) Bank of Ireland

REPLY

As set out in its Tracker Mortgage Examination status update report of 17 October last, the Central Bank advised that assurance work completed to that point raised concerns that two lenders may have failed to identify populations of impacted customer or failed to recognise that certain customers have been impacted by their failures. The Central Bank was of the view that some of these customers were in fact impacted and accordingly entitled to redress and compensation. As per the Central Bank’s statement of 9 November 2017, Bank of Ireland will now include previously disputed groups of customers in the Tracker Examination for redress and compensation.

 

The Central Bank, with the assistance of its panel of experts, continues to evaluate the Phase 2 Reports submitted by lenders. The primary focus of this ongoing assurance work is on customers whom lenders have deemed not impacted and it involves challenging the findings of lenders’ reviews through robust engagement in the form of on-site inspections, the review of relevant materials and a substantial number of meetings with lenders. As the Central Bank progresses its assurance work, other lenders will be similarly challenged.

 

The Examination continues to be a priority for the Central Bank and the Bank will continue to challenge lenders in respect of the conduct of the Examination. The Central Bank will consider appropriate supervisory action, up to and including enforcement action, where necessary.

 

In addition, as Minister for Finance, I have mandated the Central Bank under section 6A of the Central Bank Act 1942 to prepare a report on:

the current culture and behaviour and the associated risks in the retail banks; and
the actions that may be taken to ensure that banks prioritise customer interests in the future.

On foot of this report, the Government will determine whether any additional legislative and regulatory changes are needed that would enhance accountability in the banks to ensure customer interests are prioritized.