‘I trusted the banks, but they’re not on my side – they just want to make money’

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

HE­LEN Gro­gan had been liv­ing and work­ing in Eng­land for 14 years when she re­turned to Ire­land in 2005. This coun­try was in the throes of a prop­erty boom and He­len, who was in her 40s at the time, de­cided to buy a house in Palmer­stown, Dublin, so that she could be close to her el­derly fa­ther.

‘I had a big mort­gage with big re­pay­ments,’ she said.

Ms Gro­gan moved her mort­gage from an EBS tracker to a Per­ma­nent TSB tracker in 2008 as PTSB was of­fer­ing a lower rate of in­ter­est.

How­ever, af­ter a year she was told that her tracker would rise to 2.25%. She was given the op­tion of a cheaper vari­able rate, not re­al­is­ing that this would very soon get more ex­pen­sive.

When her fa­ther’s health wors­ened, she had to re­duce her work­ing week to four days in or­der to care for him.

She told the com­mit­tee she had paid out over €40,000 in un­nec­es­sary ad­di­tional pay­ments and es­ti­mated that over the life of the mort­gage this could amount to as much as €80,000. Yes­ter­day, she spoke about her ‘rage and anger’ over what had hap­pened and told the Fi­nance Com­mit­tee that she felt ‘ripped off and duped’ by the bank.

Ms Gro­gan pointed out that she was com­ing up to retirement and had hoped to have cleared her mort­gage by that stage but was still locked into her con­tract.

‘I am go­ing to have a mort­gage af­ter I re­tire,’ she said.

‘It’s a dis­grace that we are all made feel re­spon­si­ble.

‘They changed the def­i­ni­tion of what a tracker mort­gage means, they changed the rules and con­di­tions and it is not fair.’

Ms Gro­gan said that she had now lost all faith in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try.

‘I went there be­cause I trusted build­ing so­ci­eties, I thought they had my in­ter­ests at heart,’ she said.

Now Ms Gro­gan said that she does not trust the banks at all.

She added: ‘I go to them with a wary eye, know­ing they’re not re­ally on my side – they just want to make money.’

Rage and anger: He­len Gro­gan

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