26 August 2019
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath TD has said all banks should make a public commitment to no longer make a ‘time limit’ objection to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman taking on complaints relating to the tracker mortgage scandal.
Deputy McGrath has also called on the new Irish Banking Culture Board to intervene and make its views known on the issue.
Deputy McGrath commented, “We already know that at least 500 cases currently before the Ombudsman may have to be dismissed because of objections from banks under the ‘time limit’ rule. The truth is the number of customers affected could be much higher as more and more tracker-related complaints are coming in all the time.
“On my suggestion, the Oireachtas Finance Committee issued a letter to all lenders in recent days asking them to clarify their approach and also making it clear to them the Committee believes that the Ombudsman should be allowed to consider all complaints relating to the tracker mortgage without time limit objections from banks.
“Given that the €1 billion tracker scandal was of the banks’ own making, it is galling for customers that some banks are using a statutory time limit to seek to deny customers the right to have their case independently examined. We now need to hear from each of the banks that they will not adopt this anti-consumer, obstructionist approach.
“The website of the newly established Banking Culture Board says it has one overriding mission: “to make banking in Ireland trustworthy again”. This is a laudable and important objective. A good place for the Culture Board to start would be for them to make it known publicly and to the banks directly that the approach some of them have adopted in seeking to block the progress of tracker cases is entirely unacceptable and is not evidence of a reformed culture”, he concluded.