BOI Tracker Mortgage Issue - what next?

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LadyHB

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I have only recently come to realise that I seem to have a case with BOI. I only realised this during a general mortgage review meeting with a Senior Mortgage Advisor in BOI that I initiated. In passing, he happened to mention that it looked as if I had originally been on a tracker. I hadn’t realised I was ever on a tracker as it was noted as a variable interest rate on my loan docs. But on further digging through my various documents, I’ve figured out…

  1. 2005 mortgage drawn down - Per mortgage loan offer letter noted that the variable interest rate shall be no more than 1.3% above the ECB Repo rate for the term of the loan. I also have a letter directly referring to my "discounted tracker rate mortgage". (I was on some kind of introductory deal with the first 11 payments discounted).
  2. 2006 - received a letter from BOI outlining the range of interest rate options available to me on the expiration of my introductory existing rate. This included a tracker variable ECB +1.25%. I opted for a 3 year fixed rate. BOI did not highlight in that letter that by choosing a fixed rate that this would have any impact on the original terms of my mortgage agreement.
  3. 2009 - received a letter from BOI outlining the range of interest rate options available to me on the expiration of my 3 year fixed rate. This no longer included a tracker rate option and buried in the mortgage form of authorisation, it was noted that the original terms of my rate being linked to the ECB repo rate shall no longer apply to the Loan. I went for a standard variable rate at that point not realising the change in the terms of the loan.

So since that brief chat with the BOI mortgage advisor last Summer, I’ve got very evasive emails from him, a couple of letters from the Tracker Mortgage Examination Team acknowledging my “request” and indicating that they will not be in a position to respond until the Tracker Mortgage Examination has concluded in 2017. I’ve contacted the Tracker Mortgage Examination Team directly and they could not tell me if I was even included in the current examination or not. They said all tracker customers were included in it but because my docs specify that I'm on a variable interest rate (even though it is explicitly linked to the ECB rate), I'm not sure if I am automatically included.

Meantime, by my estimates I’ve overpaid about 30k and continue to be over-charged each month. I’ve put together a pack of documents and outlined my issues and have recently sent them to Patrick Kissane for his thoughts. And I’ve requested a full copy of all my mortgage documents from BOI.

I’m not sure what else I should be doing at this stage. Is it a case of wait and see what comes back from Kissane. Anyone any experience of how long that could take? Should I be formally contacting BOI and setting out my case? Should I make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman?


Any thoughts, would be appreciated.
 

Linten

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It really depends on what date you signed up to fix your mortgage rate...I suspect it was before 1st August 2006??... as that was the Bank's effective date for compliance with Consumer Protection Code. If you fixed after that date then you should have been picked up by the BOI review in 2011 when 2096 customers were restored to Tracker in circumstances very similar to yours.

The basis for your case is that you weren't properly advised that you could lose your Tracker when you signed up to fix the rate in 2006. The Banks were under no legal obligation to provide you with that clarity prior to introduction of CPC.

Your mortgage will however be included under the review as anybody who was on a Tracker at any stage is. It remains to be seen whether the outcome of Central Bank deliberations on this occasion will change the BOI decision in 2011 to refuse to restore those customers who had Tracker entitlements, but switched to another product prior to introduction of Consumer Protection Code.

If you fixed after the 1st August 2006, you have a cast iron case, based on your original Offer Letter
T & C's.
 

Linten

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The Consumer Protection Code 2006 was introduced on 1st August 2006 and came fully into effect for financial institutions from 1st July 2007. I would say that the Banks would have used the date that it was introduced on 1st August 2006, to give effect to their obligations contained in the general principles of the Code, namely to act fairly and professionally in the best interests of the customer;act with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of the customer;make full disclosure of all relevant material information;....etc....it looks like it was within the scope of this Code that many customers have had their Trackers restored to date...the language used by the Banks - i.e. 'we were not sufficiently clear in our documentation' etc. highlights their responsibilities under the Code. However if the switch from Tracker took place prior to 1st August 2006, then Banks had no obligation to restore consumers to Tracker on the basis of a deficiency in their MFAs. Offer Letters.

It would be interesting to know if mortgage customers have been restored in circumstances where they didn't have a contractual right, prior to 1st August 2006. Of course if Central Bank were doing their job and providing decent feedback on the different scenarios where Trackers are being restored, then we wouldn't have to be guessing.

As regards Brendan's point above, on reflection I would agree that nothing is cast iron as far as this review goes, with some consumers getting Tracker back in very surprising circumstances, where others have heard nothing where they appear to have a very strong case.
 

Tedtalk

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Thanks for your comments Linten, you seem to know this issue in some detail!

So if you signed a MFA after 1/08/06 that had a tracker option and it didn't warn customer in anyway about losing option to a tracker, does this mean anything?

From reading posts should banks have been including warnings on/after 01/08/06 in order to inform customers?

Your inclusion of dates is very good.
 

Linten

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Particular dates should not come into it in the situation that you highlight. If you signed an MFA at any stage to switch from Tracker to Fixed or other rate, that included an option to revert to Tracker at the end of the fixed period, you have a contractual right to the Tracker. It is only in the situation where you sign an MFA on switching from Tracker that converts to standard variable/results in the loss of your Tracker at the end of the period, that the Bank should highlight the dangers, potential loss, etc.

This warning is now embedded in all MFA documentation that issues, following Central Bank correspondence to all Financial institutions in August 2010. It was a case though of "closing the stable door after the horse had bolted"!! However as part of the current Tracker review the Banks appear to be carrying out a look back, to review cases where they may not have lived up to the spirit of the consumer protection framework, as well as the contractual rights of tracker mortgage borrowers. I would suspect, although I have no evidence that they will not review before the introduction of the Consumer Protection Code 2006, under the transparency of communications heading.

So yes they should have been including warnings on MFAs after 1st August 2006, but this is one of the key issues now being covered by the Tracker review and where many consumers who lost their Tracker, are now being restored on the basis of lack of transparency of communications.

However it is a very complex review, with many anomolies, incl. vague terms on loan docs, etc. and we would really need the Central Bank to provide more transparency around the many cases identified so far for restoration of Tracker and redress, so that others who have not been contacted could glean a better understanding of their own position.
 

Tedtalk

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Thanks for being so clear Linten. I appreciate you taking the time this late to respond!
 

Hogmeister55

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Particular dates should not come into it in the situation that you highlight. If you signed an MFA at any stage to switch from Tracker to Fixed or other rate, that included an option to revert to Tracker at the end of the fixed period, you have a contractual right to the Tracker. It is only in the situation where you sign an MFA on switching from Tracker that converts to standard variable/results in the loss of your Tracker at the end of the period, that the Bank should highlight the dangers, potential loss, etc.

This warning is now embedded in all MFA documentation that issues, following Central Bank correspondence to all Financial institutions in August 2010. It was a case though of "closing the stable door after the horse had bolted"!! However as part of the current Tracker review the Banks appear to be carrying out a look back, to review cases where they may not have lived up to the spirit of the consumer protection framework, as well as the contractual rights of tracker mortgage borrowers. I would suspect, although I have no evidence that they will not review before the introduction of the Consumer Protection Code 2006, under the transparency of communications heading.

So yes they should have been including warnings on MFAs after 1st August 2006, but this is one of the key issues now being covered by the Tracker review and where many consumers who lost their Tracker, are now being restored on the basis of lack of transparency of communications.

However it is a very complex review, with many anomolies, incl. vague terms on loan docs, etc. and we would really need the Central Bank to provide more transparency around the many cases identified so far for restoration of Tracker and redress, so that others who have not been contacted could glean a better understanding of their own position.
I am not sure it is that clear cut. If you look at the thread "Bank of Ireland staff - lost tracker" there are 1800 staff (including me)who signed MFA's to switch to a staff variable rate after 1st August 2006. There were no warnings given on these yet it appears those trackers will not be returned.

I would agree that example case studies (with names removed) should be made public by the Central Bank so that fairness and consistency can be applied across all lenders.
 

LadyHB

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Has anyone had a tracker restored who fixed pre August 2006 across any of the lenders? If contractual obligations have not been adhered to, surely people have a case regardless of the CPC. And is there not some suggestion somewhere that lenders adhere to the spirit of the CPC before August 2006 (i'm not sure where I picked that up)? And if one lender does that, surely all of them need to act in a consistent manner and I'd like to think that the Central Bank framework supports consistent treatment of such issues? I switched pre August 2006. Paraic Kissane reviewed my documents and felt I had a very strong case and did not mention the August 2006 CPC issue.
 

Mickon

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Hi Lady HB I'm in same situation as you
I was on wrong tread before about Boi staff members loosing their tracker and informed of 5 cases where People got back their tracker by one poster a staff member
 

Sarenco

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Hi Mickon

Could you tell us exactly what your MFA says will be the applicable roll-off rate at the end of the fixed-rate term?
 

Mickon

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I'm not sure as I have only requested a copy of original it was in may06 I guess it all depends on that
 

Pinesky

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Hi Lady HB I'm in same situation as you
I was on wrong tread before about Boi staff members loosing their tracker and informed of 5 cases where People got back their tracker by one poster a staff member
Just to clarify I'm not a staff member and the 5 cases I refer to were not staff .
 

Mickon

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I am sorry I misunderstood I took it when you assisted you were staff were these MFA s after 08/06
 

Mickon

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No role to rate on MFA

1.if I have applied to convert to a fixed rate loan, the interest rate shall be fixed from the date of the expiry of my existing rate.the fixed rate of interest that shall be the lenders fixed rate available for the fixed period selected by the borrower at the date of the expiry of the existing interest rate.

5.Save as set out in this Form Of Authorisation,All the terms and conditions applicable to the loan remain unchanged.

I would have expected to return to (repo) rate+1.3%
 

TrackerWiki

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I note that Liam McLoughlin CEO Retail BoI exited today.
This seems to suggest that new CEO could attend next Oireachtais meeting.
What that does is raise the stakes for all the Banks as 6,000 cases were resolved in one meeting with Central Bank.
 

todo

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I note that Liam McLoughlin CEO Retail BoI exited today.
This seems to suggest that new CEO could attend next Oireachtais meeting.
What that does is raise the stakes for all the Banks as 6,000 cases were resolved in one meeting with Central Bank.
Interesting tactic, hard to answer questions about something that happened when you weren't there, can the Oireachtais Finance committee bring in former execs.
 

TrackerWiki

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It could be a new broom will sweep clean. Bank of Ireland could simply decide to resolve the remainers and just put the whole matter behind them. Why else would Mr McLoughlin have exited so quickly otherwise?
 

todo

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It could be a new broom will sweep clean. Bank of Ireland could simply decide to resolve the remainers and just put the whole matter behind them. Why else would Mr McLoughlin have exited so quickly otherwise?
I'd imagine the reason he is exiting so quickly is so that he wont have to answer any questions.
 
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