Number of people losing homes over tracker scandal may double

By Elaine Loughlin

The number of people identified as losing their homes as a result of the tracker mortgage scandal could double in the coming months it has been claimed.

Banks have already confirmed that 97 homes were lost due to the tracker mortgage controversy, however, Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath has warned that this number will significantly increase.

Mr McGrath said: “Given the fact that the number of impacted customers has increased dramatically to 33,700 in a short few months, it is now inevitable that the number of customers who have lost their home as a result of being denied a tracker mortgage will increase well beyond the figure of 97 currently reported by the main lenders.

“The fact that people lost their homes because of the actions of the banks is truly shocking but the human impact on many other customers has been profound also.”

The Central Bank is now conducting a review of two million mortgages, after it emerged that tens of thousands of customers were wrongly put on more expensive loans by 15 lenders, including the five biggest banks in Ireland.

AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC have all been brought before the Finance Committee in recent weeks to answer questions on the €1bn tracker controversy.

Appearing at the Oireachtas committee this week KBC revealed that nearly 2,500 of their tracker mortgage customers remain on the wrong rate.

Mr McGrath said he is still not confident that banks are successfully contacting every impacted customer who had switched their mortgage or had repaid it in full.

“I also have great fears for the bank customers who were not impacted by this scandal because they will ultimately end up paying for it. The financial hit to the banks for their own actions will be well north of €1bn before this is over.

“It is fair to assume this cost will be passed on to their other mortgage and SME customers.

- Irish Examiner

By Elaine Loughlin
Political Correspondent

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