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Banks fight thousands of disputed tracker cases

Banks fight thousands of disputed tracker cases

Thousands of tracker cases continue to be disputed by banks, despite the scandal dragging on for a decade now.

An additional 8,700 cases in three different banks are being disputed by the lenders.

If the banks eventually have to concede on these it will take the total number of tracker cases to almost 50,000, and could see the total bill for the banks rise by another €290m.

That would mean the total bill will be close to €1.3bn.

Newly-appointed AIB CEO Colin Hunt has been urged to add 6,000 customers to its tracker mortgage redress and compensation scheme.

Consumer advocate Brendan Burgess said the AIB customers started on fixed rates but had a contractual right to a tracker at the “prevailing rate” when the fixed-rate period ended. He claims AIB failed to do so. AIB maintains that “the customer grouping in question did not hold a tracker mortgage”. The bank has offered customers €1,600 each because it did not offer them a tracker, but insists they did not lose out. But it has not put them to trackers or refunded them for overpaid interest.

Mr Burgess has urged the customers to use AIB’s independent appeals panel. The deadline was last Friday, but he said appeal applications would still be accepted. Those who do not appeal will lose all legal rights and options and wave goodbye to any chance of getting their tracker back.

He hopes to mount a legal challenge and says a successful appeal could cost AIB up to €200m in additional redress and compensation.

More than 200 current and former staff in Bank of Ireland, who claim they were promised tracker rates, have so far failed to meet the Central Bank to discuss the issue. This is despite staff in the regulator’s office promising to meet them by the end of February.

A spokesman for the group said: “Our main drive is to secure a face-to-face meeting with the Central Bank to fully explain our situation and how this has impacted members.”

BoI, run by Francesca McDonagh, is holding out, despite already restoring some 1,800 other staff and former staff on trackers, refunding them overpaid interest and paying compensation.

And Permanent TSB insists its tracker probe is complete despite claims there are thousands more cases yet to be resolved. It has restored fewer than 2,000 to trackers, refunded overpaid interest and compensated them.

But tracker denial cases authority Padraic Kissane claims there are another 2,500 cases the bank is refusing to concede on, or where people got redress but were put on the wrong tracker margin.

The Central Bank said the vast majority have been identified but it continues to “review and challenge the work undertaken by lenders to ensure all groups of customers who have been impacted are included for redress and compensation”.

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