The banks have found another 1,700 people affected by the tracker mortgage scandal
The Central Bank said €76 million had been paid out in compensation so far.
THE CENTRAL BANK has identified an extra 1,700 bank customers who may have been wrongfully denied tracker mortgages.
The regulator’s latest report into the scandal – which cost some house-buyers their homes as they were forced to make unfairly high repayments – was published today.
It said 9,900 impacted customer accounts have now been identified by lenders – up from 8,200 in December.
The issue of banking customers being denied lower tracker interest rates – those fixed against the ECB’s official eurozone rate - on their mortgages has been under investigation by the Central Bank since 2010.
In 2015, it ordered lenders to review any tracker mortgage-related issues in their loan portfolios following its initial probe.
It has since emerged that thousands of mortgage holders who were entitled to cheap tracker rates after fixed-rate periods expired were instead placed on higher ‘variable’ rates.
Today’s report found that of the 9,900 affected accounts, 2,600 had received redress or compensation to date, worth a total €76 million.
The Central Bank said that lenders are expected to identify all impacted accounts by the end of September 2017.
Bank of Ireland admitted in December that it alone had overcharged interest on nearly 4,000 mortgage accounts, while just over 500 had been wrongfully denied tracker mortgage rates.
Meanwhile, Permanent TSB offshoot Springboard Mortgages was handed a €4.5 million fine in November for failing to apply the correct interest rate on more than 200 mortgage accounts.
The bank and its former subsidiary have written to nearly 1,400 customers to notify them of “serious failures” in the management of their loans.
As many as 22 customers may have kept their homes if not for the banks’ actions, while AIB said in November that 14 customers had lost their homes as a result of improper tracker mortgage rates.
Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation CEO David Hall said the report was “an indictment of the cartel-like activity that banks engage in where they ripped off customers on a scale never seen before in Ireland”.
In a statement, the Central Bank said: “The immediate focus of the examination is to ensure that the interests of impacted customers are protected and that lenders prioritise the identification of impacted customers.
“The Central Bank will take appropriate supervisory action, up to and including enforcement action where necessary, in order to ensure lenders deliver fair outcomes for impacted customers.”
Reporting by Cormac Fitzgerald and Peter Bodkin.