Ulster Bank to refund trackers over €100k
Ulster Bank said it will have to pay more than €100,000 in redress and compensation to some of its 3,500 customers caught up in an industry-wide tracker mortgage overcharging scandal, though it could be “well into 2018” before all cases are addressed.
It is understood that this level of remediation largely, if not exclusively, relates to customers who lost their homes in the past decade as a result of being wrongly denied a European Central Bank tracker mortgage, typically after a period of being on a fixed rate.
Speaking to the Oireachtas finance committee yesterday, Ulster Bank’s chief executive, Gerry Mallon, said the number of customers who lost their homes as a direct result of overcharging is likely to be below the 14-15 cases indicated last December.
That is in spite of the fact that the number of its customers impacted by the issue has risen from 2,000 to 3,500 over the period.
Mr Mallon said that fewer than 40 customers have been remediated to date, while the Oireachtas committee’s chairman, John McGuinness TD, criticised the bank for the lack of information it has been offering borrowers.
Correspondence from the public to the committee “is telling us that your helpline is a farce, that it doesn’t give answers or any comfort on any timeframe in dealing with the issue, or whether they are in scope or not,” Mr McManus said.
The bank’s chief financial officer, Paul Stanley, told the committee that the bank plans to pay an initial €50,000 to customers who lost their homes as a result of overcharging, before calculating final payments due.
Ulster Bank also revealed that up to 1,000 of the affected borrowers have since moved banks or redeemed their loans. Of those that have switched lenders, it plans to make up the difference between the former customers’ current mortgage costs and what they would have paid had they been given their contractual right to a tracker rate with Ulster Bank, Mr Stanley said.
Ulster Bank set aside €206 million last year to cover costs associated with the mortgage redress scheme for customers who were wrongly denied a tracker interest rate on their home loans over the past decade.