Bank of Ireland Another success! BoI reinstates another tracker from a fixed rate!

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Originally |tracker
March 2007|fixed for two years
March 2009 - March 2011|variable
March 2011|fixed for three years
April 2011|BoI wrote to say I should have been offered tracker

I was originally on a tracker and then fixed for 2 years. When my first fixed period expired in March 2009, the bank would not offer the tracker back so I went onto a variable rate until I fixed again for three years in March 2011. I subsequently got a letter from BOI in April 2011 saying that I should have been offered a tracker after I came off my first fixed rate in March 2009. They have credited the difference between the variable rate and tracker rate for the two years I was on variable to my mortage account.

But as I had fixed in April 2011 the tracker rate would only revert on expiry of my second fixed period in March 2014. I can revert to the tracker now but with the payment of a penalty fee which I don't think I should have to pay.

If had I received this letter in March 2011, I would never have fixed. So I wrote to them in May 2011 telling them this and asked to be put on a tracker immediately without any penalty. I got a response about 2 weeks ago and it was negative. It took me five months of phoning and writing to them to get a response. I have written another letter to them asking them to review my case again, but am wondering if there is any point in waiting for another 5 months to get a reply? Or should I just proceed to the financial ombusdman?

It seems that there are others in a similar situation who have mortages with BOI and was wondering if their outcomes have been any different?
 

thedaras

Frequent Poster
Messages
813
It is astonishing to hear you had to wait so long for a reply from the bank!

However, I would say you should phone the bank and tell them that you expect to be put back on the tracker, and you are entitled to be put back in the same position as you were before they messed up,and as it was their fault you will not be paying any penalties for the break out fee

.I would phone them and speak to head of customer services ,and tell them if they dont do this you will proceed to the Ombudsman and that you want a final response from them in writing ,within a reasonable time ie;two weeks.

When you receive the final response, you may find they will have changed their tune,if not you should complain to the Ombudsman,and amazingly they seem to change their tune when they are notified of the receipt of a complaint and the offer of mediation from the Ombudsman.

If they don't, unfortunately you will have to wait for the Ombudsman to investigate your claim,but ( hopefully you can afford too) they will have to pay you the difference in what you are paying now and what you should have paid.

From what you have posted ,I believe you have a very strong case and I can see no reason why you should pay a penalty for their mistake..

I am in a similar position,and all penalties will be paid,I will post the details when there is a final resolution which should be within the next two weeks.
best of luck
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Thanks the daras for the advice. When you say you are waiting for a final resolution, is that from the bank or from the financial ombusdman?

I incidently received a reply in record time from the bank to my second letter stating that BOI have made no error on my mortgage account. I would disagree, they did not offer me the tracker rate when entitled to it. I mentioned in the letter that I would be seeking advice from the financial ombudsman so looks like next step is financial ombusdman.
 

thedaras

Frequent Poster
Messages
813
Hi swiggy, write to the Ombudsman /fill out the complaint form,you may well find the bank has a change of mind..

When I say final resolution,I mean from the bank,as I want to make sure there are no sneaky terms and conditions !

By the way,I heard Karl Deeter on newstalk this morning,he spoke of a client that wasn't offered a tracker and had to move banks,so it looks like I'm not the only one to have got caught out.. It looks like this is growing,and a lot of people were not given the option of a tracker, (as per their terms and conditions)when they should have been.

Best of luck with it.
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Hi Athlone74. Thanks for giving us an update on your situation. I am still waiting for a final response letter from the bank but judging from your experience it will be negative as I am in the exact same position as you. I asked the bank to refund me the difference in the interest rates to my current account which they did but it is annoying that they did not even give that as an option. My next step is the financial ombudsman. What response did the financial ombudsman give in your case?

I also fixed in March of this year based on the info I had at the time. The bank must have known that I was eligible for a tracker but failed to inform me. I am not a solicitor but would the contract I signed to fix the mortgage not be null and void as I was not in possession of all the information relevant to the mortgage at the time thus not fulfilling all the obligations of contract law? What was the solicitors take on the situation?

Good luck with arbitration, keep us informed of how you get on.
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Thanks Athlone74. Like you I am going to pursue this all the way! Will keep you updated.
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Hi Athlone74

I got the final response from the bank which was negative as expected. I have forwarded this onto the financial ombudsman and am awaiting a response from them. This has been going on since April 2011 now and I am thinking of paying the penalty as it is costing me alot more money staying fixed. The difference between my fixed rate and tracker rate is approx €250 a month. The financial penalty to breakout is about €1,000 which equates to 4 months payments. I have already paid €2,000 more interest on the fixed rate since April 2011 which means I am down €1,000 already! I still intend pursuing this but does it not make more financial sense to pay the penalty. Is there something I am missing here?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,675
Hi Swiggy

I had missed this discussion as it was tagged onto another question.

I have moved it out into a separate thread and I have put in a table on your first post to make it easier to follow.

I don't think you should simply pay a break fee without some form of agreement with BoI.

So I think you should formally ask them to suspend the break fee until the Ombudsman has made their decision. In other words, they reduce your rate to the tracker now. The break fee is agreed. If the Ombudsman rules in your favour, the break fee would not be charged. If the Ombudsman rules against you, then you pay the break fee then. You can justify this on the grounds that it has taken them so long to process your complaint.

I do think that you and Athlone should get together and make a joint submission to the Central Bank. These seems like a systematic error by the Bank of Ireland. And the quickest way to resolve it for you and for all the others affected is if the CB tells the Bank to fix it. This would also take a lot of pressure off the Ombudsman having to consider all these complaints separately.

Brendan
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
Thanks Brendan for the advice.

I agree with you that a concerted effort by a group of people will be more effective. If those who have been affected by this please send me a PM, I will draw up a list and we can take it from there.

I received further correspondance from the FO since my last post and the next step is mediation.

thanks
Swiggy
 

athlone1974

Registered User
Messages
11
Hi Swiggy,
I feel your frustration but I think Brendan is right with his advice about not payying the break fee. Do you mind if I ask how many years did you fix for and did the bank quote that amount of a break fee ? They didnt give me any amount just said I would be liable to pay it but I didnt ask what the amount would be but I may do that now and follow Brendans advice and ask them to suspend the break fee-although judging by their response to date I dont think they will be agreeable to this. Also I would be very surprised if they agree to go to arbitration - as they didnt respond to the the FSO by the deadline in my case the FSO took this as an indication they were not willing to attend . When my original complaint letter was sent to the FSO the CB were also furnished with same but as Brendan suggests maybe if as many of us as possible were to send this onto the CB in one consolidated form it might help. Brendan can you give us some guidelines as to what we should submit instead of sending on lots of irrelevant information -your advice would be greatly appreciated . Many thanks
 

athlone1974

Registered User
Messages
11
Hi Brendan, Swiggy and I are going to take your advice and send a letter to the Central Bank with our concerns, and we will also try and round up a few other people on this forum to include. Do you have any advice in terms of details we should send as we dont want to overload them with irrelevant information. Thanks and Regards
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,675
Something along the following lines?

Dear Central Bank

I know that you cannot enter into discussions about particular cases, but I would like to bring to your attention, a systematic mistake BoI is making in its process of compenating people for mistakes the bank made in their treatment of trackers. We understand that the mistake was detected by the CB and that you directed the BoI to fix it.

We don't believe that the bank is fixing it properly.



There seems to be many people in the same situation as us and BoI is forcing us all to take individual complaints to the FSO which takes time, and resources. We would ask that you look into this systematic issue and direct the Bank to settle these cases immediately.

The Bank has taken at least 5 months to reach the Final Response stage in at least one case. In the meantime, our monthly repayments €x in excess of what they should be. I am confident that the FSO will order a repayment of this money, when they finally make their decision in 6 months' time, but we need the money now.

In summary our complaint is as follows....


I enclose the correspondence with BoI
 

carmelmagu

Registered User
Messages
1
Bank of Ireland should have offered me a tracker in Aug 2010 but I took a 3 yr fixed

Hi Athlone and Swiggy,
I am in the same boat, just wrote a letter of complaint of BoI and then intend to go to the Financial Regulator.

Aug 2007 - Took out mortgage 3 year fixed
Aug 2010- Took out another 3 year fixed
Jan 2012 - Realize that I am on a tracker to my surprize when I called the Mortgages dept in Dublin. Spoke to my local branch manager who claimed he did nt know I was on a tracker until he contacted Dublin. I sent a letter of complaint to Bo I asking that they-
1. Refund the difference in interest
2. Do not charge me a penalty for getting out of the fixed rate
3. Put me on the tracker rate immediately
I would like to be included in your letter to the Central Bank.
Kind Regards and Thanks
 

Knuttell

Frequent Poster
Messages
704
I had a similarish situation while awaiting a ruling by the FSO,I needed some sort certainty in relation to the interest rate I was then paying and was worried that interest rates were going to increase while waiting for a ruling but felt I could not fix as this would have void any claim I may have had to a tracker.

I was talking to one of the case managers in the Ombudsmans office there and he told me to fix if I needed the certainty and that if the case went in my favour then he would insist on the fixed rate being broken at ICSs expense and I would be returned to a tracker mortgage immediately...and that is exactly what happened.

Given that you would have never fixed had you been the tracker in the first place then they should do the decent/correct thing and break in at their expense...typical of BOI using the FSO office in order to manage their customer complaints.

oh and they were also made refund the difference between the over payment I made on a fixed versus tracker rate during the period in question.
 

TillyD

Frequent Poster
Messages
251
We are also with BOI and didn't know we were on a tracker until they they wrote to us a few weeks ago informing us of our new rates as our fixed rate is up in April. They never contacted us before then. We got our mortgage in 2006. we were told we had to fix for 3 years to get the mortgage, in 2009 we were not offered a tracker so we fixed again for 2 years and in March 2012 we were offered a tracker. We never got a letter explaining why we were offered a tracker when it wasn't offered in 2009 but from reading the boards now I am assuming we are one of the 2029 customers that should have offered are tracker in 2009. I can't believe they knew all this last May and we are only finding all this out now. Very poor customer service from Boi.
 

swiggy

Registered User
Messages
27
I have received a letter from BOI reinstating the tracker with immediate effect without having to pay a break out fee. They are also going to refund the difference in the interest. A year later, this has finally been resolved. We did not get the central bank involved but would have had the outcome not been to our satisfaction.

Thanks for all the advice. Donation given to AAM!
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,675
Swiggy

That is great news after Athlone1974's success on the same issue.

I would guess that there are others still paying the fixed rate who don't know their rights.

Thanks for all the advice. Donation given to AAM!
You are welcome and thanks for the donation.

Brendan
 

Bronte

Frequent Poster
Messages
13,693
To those who succeeded, any of you write to the central bank? I know it's easy when you've gone to all the trouble and time of winning your trackers back to just be content with that, but it would be of immense benefit to others if the central bank gave a directive on this.
 
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