Oireachtas 'would be prepared to give Central Bank more powers' to fix tracker scandal: McGrath

The Central Bank has been told to set a firm deadline for rectifying the tracker mortgage scandal.

Today the bank revealed the number of customers defrauded by 15 Irish banks (they were wrongly moved from tracker mortgages onto more expensive loans) is higher than thought and the redress from the banks to date has been too slow and too little.

Only a quarter of tracker mortgage holders defrauded by Irish banks have received compensation.

Fianna Fáil's Finance spokesperson Michael McGrath (pictured) said he believed the Oireachtas would be prepared to give the Central Bank new powers in order to see the scandal addressed, if the Bank asks for them.

"KBC was probably the worst when they came before (the Oireachtas Finance Committee), because they completely stonewalled us and it would appear they have been taking the same approach with the Central Bank," he said.

"Ulster Bank has been incredibly slow too, in issuing redress and compensation.

"There is a need for a firm deadline and if there is any question of the Central Bank needing more powers, I'm sure the Oireachtas would be prepared to move on that."

The Central Bank cannot force banks to compensate home owners for tracker issues prior to 2013.

The Irish Mortgage Holders Association says the tracker scandal is the single biggest consumer rip-off in the history of the state.

Some of those defrauded by Irish banks have told an Oireachtas committee of the devastating medical and financial effects on their families.

So far 20,000 cases have been uncovered, but it is estimated that could reach 30,000.

Financial advisor and founder of the tracker mortgage campaign Padraic Kissane said he believes the numbers affected will certainly rise above 20,000.

The governor of the Central Bank Philip Lane will be questioned before the Dáil on Thursday.

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