Bank of Ireland Bank of Ireland Staff- Lost Tracker

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todo

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I am one of the 1800 staff affected and as already outlined on AAM I did take my case to the Ombudsman and he found in my favour, however FSO then rejected their own findings and reviewed my case again. I waited another 18 months and surprise surprise Bill Prasifka found in favour of BOI.
He concluded his findings by stating the following-
"I am cognisant of the fact that the wording in the documentation, in particular the MFA's signed by the Complainants, are not very clear. It would have been most prudent of the Bank to have specifically defined a tracker rate in the original loan agreement, which could have specifically prevented the confusion which led to this dispute. It is also a failure of the Bank in neglecting to clarify exactly the rate that would apply on expiry of the Complaints fixed rate, which they took out in December 2006.. I also must bear in mind the fact that the Bank communicated with the Complainants on two occasions in 2008, that they would be availing of the tracker rates on expiry, albeit the Bank clarified this not to be the case shortly afterwards.
I direct the Bank to pay 1,000 in compensation to the Complainants."
He has acknowledged the failures of the Bank in their dealings with me but yet he finds in their favour!
How can anyone have confidence in FSO when they overturn their own findings?
We had a date set for the High Court hearing, I had spoken to the person who had found in my favour and he was very confident we would win our case and then , out of the blue, I receive a call to say they were not proceeding to the High Court, had cancelled their findings and would review my case again with a different team.
I wonder was it because by winning my case, BOI would be forced to return trackers to 1800 staff and no way would the bank allow that to happen.
Despite their ongoing tracker investigation I doubt very much that the bank will return the trackers to the 1800 staff as they have Bill Prasifka s finding in their favour. They will conveniently forget the original finding in my favour.
This is complete madness how can anyone have any trust in any of these organisations, FSO, banks, etc, it seems if your not willing to roll the dice with the high court then they'll just find against you, even if they do find in your favour to begin with.

It seems to me that the FSO process is pointless, and that you need to be willing to goto the high court to seek justice, not easy do with costs involved.

Could the 1800 staff get together and try the high court.
 

Sarenco

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5,477
BOI appealed the FSO decision to the High Court, but it was the FSO themselves who withdrew my case before it got to the High Court
Thanks.

So the FSO initially found that you were entitled to revert to a tracker rate and BOI appealed that decision to the High Court. The FSO revisited their initial finding and awarded you €1,000 in compensation but, critically, did not find that you were entitled to revert to your tracker and BOI's appeal thereby became moot. Does that sound about right?
 

Onceagain

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How is that even possible, how Irish. Okay your right, okay your wrong, but here is a €1k anyhow.
Think we all need to come together, they think we are going to crawl under a rock. I wrote to Central Bank, Bank of Ireland & the FSO yesterday. BOI need to communicate either way.
 

Hogmeister55

Registered User
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How is that even possible, how Irish. Okay your right, okay your wrong, but here is a €1k anyhow.
Think we all need to come together, they think we are going to crawl under a rock. I wrote to Central Bank, Bank of Ireland & the FSO yesterday. BOI need to communicate either way.
I think that 1800 staff / ex-staff acting together through a solicitor / financial advisor makes sense. I don't think class actions are permitted here so one persons case would need to be taken to the high court. Would the 6 year statute of limitations come into play here though?
I would also imagine that process can only begin when the central bank review is complete.
 

notabene

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I thought that one of the reasons the current tracker review was taking place is that the current FSO did not agree with a lot of his predecessors findings. I also don't believe the wording above fully took into consideration the consumer protection regulations on notifying customers on the implications of giving up a tracker rate.
From my own experience of the FSO dealing with a similar issue but different bank, consumer protection was not taken into account either - there is provision in the consumer protection act 2007 for a business which makes you make an economic decision which you wouldn't have otherwise made. An example would be the bank telling no you no tracker was available and you then choosing a different rate.

More importantly in law, if a contract is ambiguous, the law is supposed to find favour with the party who did not draft the contract as the party who did, had every chance to put exactly what they wanted in the contract. Thus if your mfa was ambiguous, for argument's sake, they should find in your favour as you did not draft the contract.

What I find interesting is the FSO reviewing the case - how did that come about? I met the ombudsman himself last Feb with new evidence in my case and he told me there was nothing they could do as it was a judgement which stood legally and the only way to change it wads high court case. This seems to contradict that.

In my own case they did find in favour of me and did say I should have automatically defaulted to tracker but they then lay the blame at my door saying I didn't do enough to get it back as I did all by phone and not in writing. Not putting any onus on the bank to have abided by consumer protection law. I eventually moved the mortgage and then then insinuated, without a shred of evidence to back it up, that I had done this purely because I was in financial difficulty rather than I was on a variable which was not far off double others in the market at the time.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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Guys

Before you all jump to conclusions, you would need to see the entire facts of the case.

1) From time to time, the FSO is going to make bad decisions. Sometimes wrongly in favour of the bank. Sometimes wrongly in favour of the consumer. When these cases are appealed to the High Court, the opinion of Senior Counsel is sought. In most cases, the SC backs up the decision of the FSO and defends the appeal. In some rare cases, the SC says that the FSO's decision was clearly wrong and they should not contest the appeal.

I have seen a decision similar to Max's where the FSO upheld his complaint. The Bank appealed to the High Court. Counsel advised that the FSO's decision was so seriously flawed that they could not defend it in the High Court. This was crushing for the consumer. But I read all the paperwork in the case, and absolutely agreed with Counsel. The FSO's original decision in favour of the consumer was crazy.

And it works both ways. Here is a case where the FSO found against a consumer. The consumer appealed to the High Court, and the FSO did not contest the appeal:

Success! Appealed FSO decision to High Court; FSO agreed not to challenge appeal, the day before .

2) You are all jumping to conclusions based on the selected quote Max gave you about the FSO's decision.

"I am cognisant of the fact that the wording in the documentation, in particular the MFA's signed by the Complainants, are not very clear. It would have been most prudent of the Bank to have specifically defined a tracker rate in the original loan agreement, which could have specifically prevented the confusion which led to this dispute. It is also a failure of the Bank in neglecting to clarify exactly the rate that would apply on expiry of the Complaints fixed rate, which they took out in December 2006.. I also must bear in mind the fact that the Bank communicated with the Complainants on two occasions in 2008, that they would be availing of the tracker rates on expiry, albeit the Bank clarified this not to be the case shortly afterwards.
I direct the Bank to pay 1,000 in compensation to the Complainants."

On the face of it, this seems damning. But one would need to read the full case to conclude that the FSO "is in the hands of the banks."

3) I have seen the full papers in nota bene's case where Bill Prasifka's decision was correct, but his compensation was crazy. I would very much doubt that the current Ombudsman would rule in the same way.

4) And just to add another twist. I saw a case where an experienced investor claimed he did not know that he was investing in a geared property fund. The Ombudsman found in his favour and awarded him €1,000, although his loss was around €100,000. They asked my advice on the appeal. I looked at the complete file, and it was clear to me that the investor fully understood that it was a geared investment and should therefore have had his entire case thrown out. There was a clear piece of documentation which the FSO overlooked. If the consumer had appealed it, Counsel for the bank would have waved this in front of the judge, and the judge would have immediately thrown out the entire case.

So whichever side loses their FSO complaint, thinks that the FSO is wrong.

I believe that they have made mistakes on both sides, but that they have improved a lot recently.

Brendan
 

Hogmeister55

Registered User
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Here is a list of things discussed on this forum or are common knowledge:-
1. We were not informed of the implications of giving up a tracker
2. The MFA signed to move from tracker to variable, and variable to fixed were both incorrectly worded
3. Internal website informing staff that they would roll on to trackers at end of fixed period which has conveniently disappeared
4. An obvious management decision at some point to deny the trackers which must be recorded somewhere. Who made the decision?
5. Some staff "in-the-know" managed to bail out of the 2 year fixed rate back to trackers. Why weren't all staff told?

My question is how do we know if these factors are being taken into account in the central bank review? This forum has had over 17,000 views. Has anyone using this forum reported these factors to the central bank, FSO or other?.
 

Onceagain

Frequent Poster
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139
I got a letter from the tracker review section in Bank of Ireland today, advising review was ongoing and that they are working through as fast as they can and will be in contact in 40 days, its not over yet.
 

MAX01

Registered User
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Hi Hogmeister Have you contacted Central Bank and BOI with the issues outlined in your post ?
I have written to CB and FSO expressing my concerns re BOI staff, I got no reply from FSO, received a letter from CB noting my concerns.
I wrote to BOI asking why not one of the staff trackers have been returned, they said they would send me a response within 40 days.
I am very concerned that at this late stage not one staff member would appear to have got their Tracker back.
 

Tedtalk

Frequent Poster
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51
Hi Onceagain,

Did anything prompt the letter from BOI? Had you contacted them recently. It would be good just to know at least when it's over so people can move on.
 

Onceagain

Frequent Poster
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139
Hi Tedtalk,

Yes, I wrote to them in Jan asking that they confirm in writing that either a. I am not getting my tracker back or b. I am and the time frame therein.
I also wrote again to the central bank and the fso.
 

LadyHB

Frequent Poster
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59
I wouldn't get too excited about the letter in 40 days. While I'm not a staff member, I've got similar letters from the BOI Tracker Mortgage Examination Unit and the 40 day letter simply pointed out that they would issue a response to me on conclusion of their overall Mortgage Examination sometime in 2017. Not in any way transparent or reflective of the fair treatment of customers which is meant to be an integral element of the Central Bank framework.
 

todo

Frequent Poster
Messages
264
At least you get some communication from them, I'm told I'm part of the review by phone. But I've never gotten a letter to say that I'll get another letter in 40 days.

The communication on this whole thing is shocking. I guess the less they say the more they may get away with.
 

Tedtalk

Frequent Poster
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To me I feel Boi have identified everyone now. Correct me if I'm wrong but if the CB approved the Boi communication identifying 602 customers in December, I'd be surprised if they identify anymore now.
 

Onceagain

Frequent Poster
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139
If you write to them, they have to write back

Tedtalk, if that's the case why didnt they say that in their letter dated 13th Feb 2017.
"This is to let you know that the Tracker Mortgage Examination is still under way. However, please be assured that we are working on the matter as quickly as possible and I will be in contact with you within forty working days from the date your complaint was received.".

The next letter may well say no your not getting it back and they know that now, but for some ailen reason that is not being communicated now. Who knows.
 

Tedtalk

Frequent Poster
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If it's any help I had a conversation with the tracker team back in nov and they said to me if an issue is identified I'll be informed otherwise I'll get a 'final response' near end of process. Hope that helps
 

Mickon

Registered User
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Boi had a dilebrate stragety to get people off trackers when they put clauses in their MFA putting them back on SVR in 2006 not as most people think 2008 onwards it only became apparent in 08 09
 

Tedtalk

Frequent Poster
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V interesting Mickon but weird as Boi managers were still flogging trackers in 07 and 08. It may be reason the Boi reinstatement no is so low.
 

Mickon

Registered User
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They had to to be competitive with other banks they also knew they would get you off it at some stage people would fix or change terms.
 

Sarenco

Frequent Poster
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5,477
I wouldn't agree that BOI has a particularly low restoration rate compared to other lenders.

Don't forget that, in addition to the 602 accounts recently identified as part of this review process, BOI previously restored trackers to 2,096 accounts back in December 2011 as a result of an earlier review.

V interesting Mickon but weird as Boi managers were still flogging trackers in 07 and 08. It may be reason the Boi reinstatement no is so low.
I do agree with you that it seems completely fanciful to imagine that BOI were far-sighted enough in 2006 to take steps to trick anybody out of trackers that they would otherwise be entitled to once their fixed terms expired when you consider that they BOI continued to offer trackers as late as September 2008.
 
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