Tracker mortgages scandal - but who are the culprits?


Fintan as the balance in a debate on tracker mortgage scandal!! oh my, it was a stacked deck in favour of the banks. turned off the TV.


Certainly not stacked. BB was on a loser from the moment he opened his mouth.
Banks were kicked


I know he gets a bit of a stick around these parts, but I think Brendan Burgess talks a fair bit of sense. He’s one of the few commentators who does not get caught up in populist nonsense and tries to deal with the realities of a situation.

Last night was a good example; all around him were calling for bankers to be jailed for fraud and he rightfully attempted that possibly a large number of the rumoured 30000 customers made a judgement call on the future of interest rates and sadly got it wrong.

He’s also the only commentator calling out strategic defaulters, and one of the few with the balls to say that repossessions are a necessary evil. Fair play to him, I think we need more commentators like him.


is this tracker scandal because people (not the bank) switched from tracker rates to fixed rates?


I think the real scandal is that in that in some cases banks refused to put people back on trackers after the fixed rate term ended when contractually they were obliged to offer them.

But there are undoubtedly people who saw ECB rates climbing and wanted off their trackers without getting a commitment to return to a tracker in the future. For these people it is a case of bad luck, rather than an out and out scandal.

And I guess the extent of the scandal is how many of the first cohort there are.

edit to say - in answer to your question, yes, it seems that everybody who is affected by this scandal, in the first instance agreed to switch from a tracker rate to a fixed rate, rather than it being forced on them.


Hasnt it been brought through the courts for 3 years by ptsb ffs. The lost all the way so not even a leg to stand on.


Do you think giving fraudulent advise and info on financial services is fraud? I do


Yes of course if advice is proven to be fraudulent. Have you seen any evidence of fraud?
BBs point was there is little evidence of fraud yet, and breach of contract is not fraud.


I seriously doubt “the fine print” is on their side. We’d have citations splashed all across the media by the banks if that was the case. If someone’s loan offer was a tracker or a fixed for a period followed by a tracker, that’s their loan.

I doubt the banks appreciated the risk of tracker products enough to put in a clause protecting themselves. Probably there’s some vague ‘force majure’ section and the banks are desperately spinning that this supports them and this is “the fine print”

Edit - I suppose the Event of Default section would give the bank wide ranging powers. But if someone cures their default then why would you “lose your tracker”. There’s no longer a default.


What do you mean by “profit foregone” here ? You mean “fraud foregone” in the instance of not being able to proceed as per this scandal.


Thank you sir. This info was missing in the reporting of this scandal. Changes the context of the story which sounded like banks were unilaterally putting borrowers onto fixed rates.


We don’t know the split yet, but I’m going to guess at least some of these 30,000 are chancing their arm and will avoid reposession and/or earn very generous tracker agreements that they are not legally entitled to. Plus the dept. of finance (who own big chunks of some of these banks) are set to demand a fine from the banks they own. Robbing peter to pay paul again.

Elsewhere Pascal the rascal will demand these same banks keep their earnings targets on track. So I’m hazarding a guess they will just pass on the cost of all this across the rest of their loan book.


The problem is that executives in Irish banks face no realistic fear of personal prosecution for overcharging their customers.

Denying someone their legal rate to pay a lower rate of interest is legally theft. The banks cannot argue that this was one-off oversight given that there was so much of it. There must have been orders to staff, likely in emails, instructing them to not inform customers of their legal right to a tracker. The exact same thing happened in the late 90s and early 2000s: AIB overcharged on margins for FX transactions, and NIB overcharged on current account fees. These things simply cannot happen systematically in large organisations without management direction, on paper.

Proving who is responsible involves a huge amount of detective work and analytical ability. I don’t think An Garda Siochana has the capacity or interest in going after people though.


I understand that it is logistically difficult (no account to credit), but why are mortgagees who have redeemed or closed their mortgage account excluded. Doesn’t make sense to me at all.


I see posts over on AAM now from people who lost trackers a few years back but who got them back 1 or 2 yrs later with the interest difference, are starting to ask why they shouldn’t get compo too


Lets take a hypothetical that is close to the truth. Bank X rings customer A persistently wanting to talk to them urgently about their tracker. Bank X states interest rates are going to rise 3 to 4% in the next year, advised they would be better fixing for Y years.
Is it fraud, malpractice I dont know. If they gained bonuses for such Sharp practice it should be investigated by our non existent CB/ ombusman / gardai


There is a post on boards where a couple of people who never had trackers in the first place are asking if they can get compo.

One says he does not think he was offered one and with the benefit of hindsight thinks he would have taken a tracker if offered.

Another says they considered a tracker but went for a variable; they’re wondering if they have grounds for complaint because the broker should have told them the tracker was a better option, even though the variable rate was lower at the time.

This bandwagon will run and run.


I agree a scenario like that is highly unethical. And that it should be investigated. And that if there is evidence of a bank employee telling customers that interest rates are going to rise 3-4% in the next year they should be prosecuted.

But is there any evidence of this? Even evidence of isolated cases never mind tens of thousands that point to systemic fraud?


IT’s main story today highlights AIB. Apparently, “anyone who was on a standard fixed-rate contract in late 2008 should have been eligible to transfer to a tracker once their fixed period was up, as was the case for people who were previously on a tracker rate.”

Trackers all round, then. Who will pay for these?

Could this have anything to do with the drop in AIB shares in the past two weeks? Proper business journalists used to routinely report share price movements as part of each report but maybe it’s been decided to ignore share prices on the tracker stories. … -1.3267662


From today’s Irish Times

Matthew better go into hiding for a few weeks after putting his name to that in the current environment