Broker amended my mortgage application so I did not apply for a tracker

Sarenco

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The time line is like this:

Input 1. --> Customer looks for tracker.
Input 2. --> Lender approves for a tracker, the broker says it is the best deal, a customer stays with the broker
Input 3. --> Broker informs the customer the tracker was no longer available
Input 34. --> Customer asks the broker to contact the bank and ask why, the broker confirms it is not available
Output ---> Customer signs on an SVR because the customer believes he has no other options.
Ok. Thank you for finally spelling out what happened.

Let's break this right down:-

1. You understood the difference between a tracker and an SVR.
2. You applied for a tracker and initially it was indicated that this would be available to you but you didn't enter into a loan agreement at this stage.
3. It was subsequently indicated to you that the tracker option was no longer available.
4. You asked your broker to double-check this with the bank.
5. He indicated that he did so and confirmed to you that the tracker option was no longer available to you.
6. You decided to enter into an SVR loan agreement and you drew down your loan on this basis.

All correct?

So what possible motivation would your broker have to lie to you? What plausible reason would he have to misrepresent the true position?

None.

The obvious explanation is simply that the tracker option was simply no longer available to you. Unless you can point to anything at all that would indicate that the broker misrepresented the factual position you would have to conclude that there was no such misrepresentation.

No lie, no trap and no conspiracy.
 

peemac

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Unless banks were offering different commission rates for svr?

Unlikely and probably the bank had indicated that trackers were no longer being considered but would honour those they had agreed to in an official offer letter and this would explain the timeline.

One other point is that the interest rate on a tracker and a standard variable rate were very similar with difference of less than 0.5%, so it probably didn't seem terribly out of the ordinary for the broker to change to svr.
 
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Sarenco

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We are all entitled to withdraw or vary any offer up to the point that it is accepted by the person to whom the offer is made and a legally binding contract is concluded.
 

todo

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But the bank didn't offer a tracker! It offered an SVR, which the applicant accepted.

Input 1. --> Customer looks for tracker.
Input 2. --> Bank offers an SVR.
Output ---> Customer and bank agree on SVR.

There's no "trap"! It's simple offer and acceptance.

The only logical reason the broker would have amended the application was because:-

1. The bank indicated that it was no longer offering trackers, either generally or to borrowers in the position of the applicant, so it would be rejected; or
2. His client requested him to do so.

Incidentally, the FSO found in favour of the bank in the complaint that you referenced and this was described as a well reasoned decision in the subsequent cold case review!
I know this all looks very simple to you, and your view is that what happens before the contract is signed doesn't matter and only the content's of the signed contract matters.

This is the banks view and FSO's view so your in good company there.

My point is this, Bank of Ireland had a strategic plan in place during the months of July, August and September of 2008. They knew at this point that trackers were bad news, but they still wanted new customers as I guess they were in the hope of the so called soft landing.

What they did was they trapped people by offering them tracker mortgages, they knew that it takes a lot of effort to get everything together to get an offer of a mortgage and if they got consumers far enough along the pipeline there likely to trust them and fall into the trap of going on svr.

My view is this, the tracker mortgage examination team should look at all inflight mortgage applications that went through Bank of Ireland during those months and see how many of them who were offered a tracker but ended up on svr and look at the circumstances of how they ended up on svr instead of the tracker rate.

I don't think that its no coincidence that the OP, the person in compliant no. 18, myself and the poster who has a recording of them that exposes them for the lies they are telling now, all know that Bank of Ireland set a trap and tricked us out of our tracker mortgages.

I used to get calls from Bank of Ireland asking me if there is anything they could help me with, I always said yes and tell them my story, each one of them told me that they will look into it and get back to me, but none of them ever have. They don't call me anymore and I don't know why, but that's the kind of bank they are.

I know that people in a similar situation to me and this OP, know that a trap was set for us and we fell into it, there isn't anything we can do about it as you so rightly point out, the contract is what it is.

Its a real shame that the CPC means nothing, its a shame that whistle blowers are treated so shamefully in this country as I'm sure there are many out there that could blow this whole thing wide open.

I'm waiting for the tracker review to complete, I've been told that I can appeal its decision, which I will do for what its worth.
 
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Sarenco

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your view is that what happens before the contract is signed doesn't matter and only the content's of the signed contract matters.
That doesn't accurately reflect my view as it happens but that's hardly important.

The point is simply that an offer was made to provide a loan on certain terms and those terms were freely accepted. No duress, no misrepresentation and no misunderstanding.

Everything else is pure conjecture (to put it diplomatically) and, frankly, irrelevant.
 
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dokhtor

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Sarenco, I was being lied to, either by the broker or by the bank via the broker. You said, “The obvious explanation is simply that the tracker option was simply no longer available to you. Unless you can point to anything at all that would indicate that the broker misrepresented the factual position you would have to conclude that there was no such misrepresentation.”

I can point out to the letter from the BOI compliance department I quoted previously which confirmed that there was nothing in my LTV or LTI or whatever to prevent from the product, that it was available to me, and that it was available upon request until October 2008. Furthermore, another letter from the same BOI stated that they had no record of me (read – broker) ever asking about the tracker. Again, as I pointed out earlier, when I forwarded my initial application form to the BOI, then they contradicted their first answer that I never asked for it and then said that their records indicated that it was the broker who amended the application – on the day or the day before he told me the loan offer for SVR came through.

You asked me why I signed and did not query what happened to the tracker? I replied that I asked the broker to ask them and that the broker replied that it was not available. I have no proof he ever contacted them. If I dealt with the bank directly, I could have asked for details. The broker indicated that all communication with the lender was through him.

As for “1. You understood the difference between a tracker and an SVR.” I vaguely understood the difference. I only asked few colleagues and they suggested to go for a tracker. This is why I applied for it. When the broker presented the loan offer, he said there was little difference between svr and tracker and the real difference was with the fixed rates. Of course I was rather clueless, I do not dispute that. And in fact, I do not jump on the bandwagon of give-me-back-my-tracker, you are right that the contract was signed. But either the bank, or the broker, or both, lied to me. Ideally, I would love the central bank to review cases like this because it is not right to screw people for life.
 

dokhtor

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Todo, in retrospect I think it is exactly right: “What they did was they trapped people by offering them tracker mortgages, they knew that it takes a lot of effort to get everything together to get an offer of a mortgage and if they got consumers far enough along the pipeline there likely to trust them and fall into the trap of going on svr.”

If the banks realized trackers were bad news, why did they pull them as late as only in October 2008 and continued offering them on request? Probably, because if one bank pulled them, the customers would have moved toward another bank that still offered them, maybe there was no cartel then yet as it is now.

So they kept the trackers on offer to lure the customers in, to induce into the process. And when the customers went through all the motions, collected the ton of paperwork, found and agreed on houses, at the last moment they would replace the tracker with svr contracts and see if the customers bite. And perhaps the brokers played along.

Sarenco argues it is perfectly fine because it is bargaining – but it is only bargaining if you have some experience dealing with financial institutions and financially smart, realize it is bargaining, perhaps like Sarenco is. For people like I was in 2008 it was providing misleading info.

And I do not understand what “unavailable to you” means. Does it mean “unavailable as in the lender no longer offers the product” or that your circumstances, LTI or LTV make it unavailable? Does “unavailable” mean simply “not offered” as the lender first wants to offer an inferior product and in fact it is available? The broker explained it like it was no longer available at all. When I switched to another bank now, the banker explained all the rates, that this rate was available if the loan amount was above this amount, this rate was available if your LTV was like this, etc etc. All rates were available if my criteria fit their criteria, nothing was "unavailable" from their range.
 

Sarenco

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either the bank, or the broker, or both, lied to me
Cui bono?

People normally do not lie without some underlying motive.

The broker had no reason to lie - nothing in it for him - and apparently the bank would have been willing to offer you a tracker.

The referenced documentation does not demonstrate that anybody lied to you. If you don't want to accept the obvious explanation as to what happened, well that's up to you.
 

dokhtor

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Sarenco, I do not know if you meant it, but your words are mildly insulting, about pure conjecture, diplomatically speaking. I based my point on the letter from the BOI compliance department. There is no duress certainly, but how is it no misunderstanding or misrepresentation? The lines of communication between the customer and the lender are obfuscated. The customer is able to neither choose between the range of products that are available to that customer or to question the lender about the products prior to signing the contract. I cant answer for the broker's rationale, I do not know. Your own conjecture that the simple explanation is that the product was not available is contradicted by the boi's compliance letter. But I obviously do not know and probably will never know.

But what is the obvious explanation? If the bank was willing to offer me a tracker, then why did the broker passed along the svr loan offer?
 

Sarenco

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If the bank was willing to offer me a tracker, then why did the broker passed along the svr loan offer?
Ask yourself that question in reverse - if the bank was willing to offer you a tracker, why did the broker pretend otherwise?

You can't provide any plausible explanation for that and yet you have convinced yourself that your broker lied to you for no apparent reason.

The obvious explanation is that the bank wasn't in fact willing to advance a tracker loan to you.
 

elcato

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I really think you are looking waay too deep into this in the hope of getting a result. The bank realised in 2008 during your application process that trackers were bad deals so they refused you a tracker. Nothing untoward in that. You were told the tracker was no longer available. They offered you a SVR loan. You questioned why not a tracker and they informed you that they were no longer available. You then signed for the SVR. You had the right to walk away or ask another lender.
 

dokhtor

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But then we both agree, it is the most obvious explanation. Then the letters from the BOI about availability to me are meaningless ex post explanations. Where the boi stated I only did not get the tracker because I did not apply for it, which i did. Sarenco, is your point that the trackers were perhaps indeed available to me based on their underlying criteria but the bank was unwilling to offer a tracker?

But I still do not understand what it means. "Unwilling" does not mean "unavailable". "unwilling" is still about obfuscation and misrepresentation, and it is perfectly compatible with the point that todo made, about luring clueless people in, then changing the terms midway. And are you telling me the broker could not know their play and could not recommend asking my solicitor to write a letter to the lender for the reasons of making the tracker unavailable? Hardly.

When I was switching from the boi recently, I obviously did not go to brokers and talked to the ulster and the aib. all products were available provided I fulfilled their criteria that they explained to me, they were not "unwilling". If the customer fulfills the criteria what does unwilling even means? Look up the clauses on recommending the most suitable product or the product that the customer asked for in the CPC 2006.

elcato, I do not hope of getting any result. I walked away from the boi. I am not into tracker review or anything. All this time I could not understand the behavior of either the broker or the bank, I was hoping other posters could illuminate a bit.
 

todo

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I guess there are two questions to be answered.

1. Are Bank of Ireland in breach of the CPC?
2. Should the CPC be enforced?
 

Sarenco

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Sarenco, is your point that the trackers were perhaps indeed available to me based on their underlying criteria but the bank was unwilling to offer a tracker?
Yes.
"unwilling" is still about obfuscation and misrepresentation
No it isn't.

- Are you willing to offer me X?
- No. But I will offer you Y.
- That's a pity, I was hoping for X.
- Sorry, we can only offer you Y.
- I'll take Y so.

Where is the misrepresentation or obfuscation?
the point that todo made, about luring clueless people in, then changing the terms midway.
The Bank didn't change their terms midway. They withdrew a previous offer before it was accepted and made an alternative offer. Perfectly legitimate.
 

dokhtor

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The obfuscation is in the inability of a customer to ask the lender the "why" question. As in, if I borrow a lower amount to reduce my LTV ratio, or if I borrow a higher amount to fulfill your criteria (like in the Ulster bank >250K criteria), will I get the product? Is the product withdrawn or you do not offer to me only? What do I need to do to get the product? The broker communicated it was unavailable, no negotiation. The letter from the BOI implied it was negotiable. Besides, how could the lender know they could push an inferior product and it was likely i would not walk away, losing the customer altogether? one plausible possibility was that the broker shared information on my personal circumstances with the banker, preference to do things quickly, before autumn.

Again, when I was switching, I was surprised by the amount of information received from the banks, how they explained it all. Why could not I get the same service in 2008 as I got in 2015? In 2008 it was just, this is the amount, you have to take as much as you can, this is unavailable, I do not know why.
 

todo

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I can't see any breach of the Code on the facts of this case.
Principle 2

"acts with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of its customers;"

Getting the customer on SVR is in Bank of Irelands best interest, not the customers, they were still selling trackers after the op signed up for an SVR.

Clear breach of the CPC, at no point in time is a rate were the the bank has complete control of the interest rate in the customers best interest, and certainly not when they have a product they were actively selling to other customers which was a tracker.
 

dokhtor

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Sarenco, according to the 2006 Consumer Protection Code, specifically 30 (b) and (c): b) where the regulated entity offers a selection of product options to the consumer, the product options contained in the selection represent the most suitable from the range available to the regulated entity; … c) where it recommends a product to a consumer, the recommended product is the most suitable product for that consumer. Furthermore, (31) mandates a bank is required to provide a written statement why “a product or service offered to a consumer is considered to be suitable to that consumer; b) the reasons why each of a selection of product options offered to a consumer are considered to be suitable to that consumer; or c) the reasons why a recommended product is considered to be the most suitable product for that consumer. The regulated entity must give a copy of this written statement to the Consumer and retain a copy.”

First, the range of options that included SVR and fixed rates for different terms only, i.e., "the product options contained in the selection" did not "represent the most suitable from the range available to the regulated entity" because the range omitted the available tracker product. As we established, "the range available" include tracker products at the time, to October 2008, certainly in July 2008. The range of options included more expensive products. I was not given any statement how an SVR was superior. Sarenco said trackers were available but the bank was unwilling. What "unwilling" means in the context of clause 30?

If in its mortgage loan offer letter the bank omits, as in "unwilling", one of its products that are in fact available and applicable to a particular consumer despite that said consumer indicating the preference for that very product in its own mortgage application form, and that consumer is prejudiced in his decision because he would have chosen otherwise, how is it not contrary to Clause 30?

I am not naive, even if it is probably contrary to clause 30, so is the omission of tracker options on rate sheets of people on lifetime trackers who came down from their fixed periods is equally contrary to clause 30, which means CPC is not enforceable overall.
 

Sarenco

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Clear breach of the CPC, at no point in time is a rate were the the bank has complete control of the interest rate in the customers best interest, and certainly not when they have a product they were actively selling to other customers which was a tracker.
By that logic all lenders are currently in breach of the CPC by selling non-tracker variable rate home loans! That is very clearly not the case.
 

Sarenco

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the range omitted the available tracker product
But you were advised that the tracker was not available to you!

Are you now arguing that because trackers were (possibly) made available to some customers but not others that there was a breach of the CPC? In that case, offering an LTV based loan product would breach the CPC. That very clearly is not the case.
 
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