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

dokhtor

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Sarenco, I do not understand. First you argue it happened because it was not available to the customer, then you said it was because the bank was unwilling. I was advised that the product was unavailable, gone. But the product was available to me, it was made unavailable to me however because the bank was unwilling to offer it. If you fulfill specific criteria and the product is available, how can it be made unavailable?

Of course the products available will vary depending on LTV or other criteria specific to the customer. The BOI explained to me that the tracker was available to me based on my circumstances and their criteria. You plausibly explained their behavior by unwillingness. The CPC states that "options contained in the selection represent the most suitable from the range available to the regulated entity." Trackers were available in July to the BOI yet, I fulfilled their criteria thereby rendering the tracker available to me. Why was not the tracker included in the range of options? Why was there no explanation whatsoever about suitability?

How else do you explain "options contained in the selection represent the most suitable from the range available to the regulated entity"? Please interpret this clause how you think it should be interpreted. What does "most suitable from the range available" mean?
 
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Sarenco

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Let me try and be as clear as I possibly can.

You initially said that your broker lied to you and that a tracker would have been made available to you if your broker hadn't amended the application form without your authority.

You have not produced a shred of evidence to back up your claim that your broker lied to you. There would have been no reason for your broker to lie to you. There was nothing in it for him. Ergo the only plausible explanation is that (a) your broker did not in fact lie to you; and (b) that the tracker option was not in fact available to you.

You have now moved on to argue that the bank breached the CPC by not offering you a tracker. That seems wholly fanciful to me but you are obviously free to advise the Central Bank of your concerns.
 

dokhtor

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Sarenco, I said the broker lied to me based on the official letter from the BOI's compliance that the tracker was available to me at the time and that their records indicated that the broker amended the application. I said "lied" because the broker told me that the bank passed along the svr loan offer, that the tracker was not available and that he asked the bank about the tracker again. While the bank informed me that they had no information that the broker ever asked about it. Like I said, there are few other things I discovered what the broker did on the application form that were somewhat dodgy, making me suspicious but lets assume the broker did not lie and dutifully communicated the info from the boi.

My evidence is the first application form for a tracker, and two letters from the BOI that point out to the broker. If you are right and the broker had no motivation to do so, which is entirely plausible, then it means that I am wrong and it was the bank that lied. The bank was unwilling to offer the tracker and passed along the svr loan offer, and the broker in fact queried them and they replied it was not available. And the letter from the compliance department is rubbish. It is very convenient when the lender refers to the broker and the broker refers to the lender. How is not an obfuscation when the customer cannot communicate with the lender about criteria? But, fine.

I have not moved to argue about the CPC. Other posters mentioned CPC first and I wondered what do its relevant clauses mean exactly? I asked other informed members such as yourself about the wording in specific clauses in the CPC. I did it politely because I value your opinion. Instead, you turned to employing "fanciful" and the like and went all patronising on me. Lets be civil.
 
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dokhtor

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In general terms. What does "availability to a customer" in banking even mean? Seriously. Are there set of objective criteria or "availability" is an arbitrary decision on a whim? If the lender's web page states that a tracker mortgage at such a rate is available to those borrowing above 300K with LTV<80, provided ones credit checks out, should the lender make this product available to those who fit these criteria? And if not, why not? I cannot understand Sarenco's point of available but unwilling.

Trackers are dead now. If the bank has products at different LTV rates and my LTV<50, and I apply through the broker, is it ok if the broker produces the loan offer with higher rates at LTV<90 only included? And then he says that rates at LTV<50 are not available to me. How could it be OK not to include rates applicable at LTV<50 among "most suitable from the range available" so that it is not a violation of clauses 30-1? If it is a violation, how is it different from omitting that tracker product?

To argue that anything goes before the contract is signed is also pretty fanciful, and lenders' knowledge that the regulators do not enforce the CPC is probably what brought us into such mess in the runup to 2008. If you have knowledge how the CPC is interpreted I would really like to know. There is obviously little point to advise the central bank - again i detect the note of sarcasm - because it does not seem to be interested in consumers at all, only in financial stability.
 
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todo

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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.
If a customer requests a particular type of mortgage but ends up on a different type, which is worse off for the customer, this is not what I call acting in the customers best interest.
 

Sarenco

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If a customer requests a particular type of mortgage but ends up on a different type, which is worse off for the customer, this is not what I call acting in the customers best interest.
You do understand that there is no obligation on anybody to actually accept a loan offer?

If you don't like the loan terms on offer, you are free to either (a) walk across the street to see if another lender will offer you better terms; or (b) not take out a loan at all.
 

Sarenco

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To argue that anything goes before the contract is signed is also pretty fanciful
Indeed but I didn't make that argument.

Look, at this stage we are just talking in circles.

I have already explained why (a) I don't see any evidence that your broker lied to you; and (b) I don't see any breach by the bank of the CPC from what you have told us.

Ultimately, of course, it doesn't matter what I think.

If you want to continue torturing language or inferring facts to justify your position, well, that's up to you.
 

Danny Boy

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I've only just read this thread which has taken quiet some time.

I didnt think that BOI dealt directly with brokers - was the mortgage done through ICS which was their broker wing? Maybe the broker was using a local branch to place the business?

In relation to the tracker rate, its fair to say that in 2008 the tracker rates being offered by lenders was a lot more that .5 of a percent over ECB so I wonder what was the rate over ECB they were offering at the time?
I know that in 2005 - 2006 they were offering .5% over ECB depending on the loan to value rate but the ECB rate was 3% at the time. Obviously that all changed when the ECB started to drop. So my point is that the OP might not be as hard done by as he thinks as the tracker rate offered at the time may have been 3% plus over ECB.

I hope that makes sense & maybe breaks the fall a small bit for the OP - he would still have been better off but maybe not by as much as he thinks?
 

todo

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You do understand that there is no obligation on anybody to actually accept a loan offer?

If you don't like the loan terms on offer, you are free to either (a) walk across the street to see if another lender will offer you better terms; or (b) not take out a loan at all.
Do you understand that the bank is obligated under the cpc to do what's in the best interest of the customer.

We trusted them too much.
 

Sarenco

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The CPC provides that as a general principle a regulated service provider is required to act honestly, fairly and professionally in the best interests of its customers and the integrity of the market.

At the end of the day, only the Central Bank can decide how to apply that general principle in the context of any individual case but I would point out that the requirement is to act in the best interests of its "customers" - plural.

I never understood why anybody would "trust" a bank. They are not fiduciaries - they make loans for profit.
 

dokhtor

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I am not looking for a tracker review or anything of sorts, my query was about lending practices and disclosure requirements. You did not clarify to me or other forum members what is the difference between “unavailable” and “unwilling.” You make it sound like a game, instead of prudent lending with putting ticks next to the set of criteria for specific mortgage products that I thought the lenders were supposed to do. If you fulfill the criteria, then they tick the boxes and the product is available, if you do not, then it is unavailable. I have still have no clue what “available” but “unwilling” means.

In summary, I got a cold call from the broker who told about a very competitive product they could give. Then I was approved in principle for a tracker. I asked my colleagues and they all suggested the trackers were better. If the broker did not give me the tracker, I would have walked across the street like you said. I thought i was approved. Then the whole thing, the papers, looking for a house, more papers, I was exhausted, took quite long. Then the broker informed that the tracker was no longer available and that the loan offer was for a similar product, svr. That they were similar, and different from fixed. I asked to contact the BOI for a tracker again, and the broker said he did and not available. At that stage it was difficult to walk away because another lender's offer has expired or was about to get expired, and the broker made it sound like trackers were no longer available across the board. It appears to me that all it required is for the broker to advise to ask my solicitor to write a letter to the lender and query what happened. At least, this is how I read the boi's letter from the compliance department.

But at the end of the day, in June I went in with savings thinking I was getting one type of product, and in September I was without any savings, with the most expensive mortgage in the country. I am not an idiot, and even I could not understand how you were supposed to ask the lender for an explanation if the broker does not tell you anything specific.

Danny Boy, the BOI rate at the time was 1.25% over ecb, with discount of i think 0.15 below that in first year or two. The svr offered was 0.2 over the rate that I would have got from the tracker. So, it was not the most beneficial product in the sense of CPC, it was garbage.

We indeed argue in circles so I am happy to close it.
 

dokhtor

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I am still curious whether it would be a violation of CPC if hypothetically the lender does not include the rates applicable at LTV<50 when such rates are in fact available, and does not tell about them.As in 30 b) where it 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.

If the rates are available and applicable to a particular customer in particular circumstances, why would the lender be unwilling to offer them?
 

Sarenco

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Maybe because certain terms were not actually available and applicable to a particular customer in particular circumstances (or at all) and therefore the lender was unwilling to offer them?

Does that help you out of your self-created, linguistic rabbit hole?
 

dokhtor

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Sarenco, instead of addressing the substance of the question head on you tend to come up with the least applicable example to ridicule the question asked. Like suggesting that all lenders may be in breach because they offer arbitrary rates. So I suggested a very specific example: would the lender be in breach of the "the selection represent the most suitable from the range available to the regulated entity" clause if they omitted the relevant and applicable LTV rate from the range of offered options even though the customer falls into that LTV bracket. When I read the clause, I understand that such a lender would obviously be. I could be wrong but you did not explain how.

If you do not know the answer, this is perfectly fine, just say so. You did not explain why it is not a breach, because by your logic the range can contain anything or nothing at all, because your point that "certain terms were not actually available and applicable to a particular customer in particular circumstances (or at all)" is legalistic mouthful that does not mean anything specific, a solicitor who does not know the answer could answer exactly like that to obfuscate. The relevant terms are LTV and LTI. I cant see what else is there since the lender is willing to lend a shitload of money anyhow, so the credit history and employment details must have checked out. And if something has not checked out, why offer the mortgage in the first place.
 

dokhtor

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Apart from an obvious vested interest to force the customer to borrow as much money as possible because the broker's commission depends on the total amount, not whether a suitable customer is matched with the lender, I highlighted an obvious disclosure and information problem when applying through the broker. Not everybody is as financially smart, or lucky, as you are.

Short of walking away from the loan offer and losing all the money spent on a solicitor, appraiser, surveyor, which with the benefit of a hindsight of course I should have, I am not sure how else I could have had the tracker product I was approved for in June in the first place. And it seems to me the boi was perfectly insulated from the questions I could have asked as a customer directly. if you do not see it, then you choose to see things that conform to your view of the world. Have a good day now.
 

peemac

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Danny Boy, the BOI rate at the time was 1.25% over ecb, with discount of i think 0.15 below that in first year or two. The svr offered was 0.2 over the rate that I would have got from the tracker. So, it was not the most beneficial product in the sense of CPC, it was garbage.

We indeed argue in circles so I am happy to close it.
That probably explains why it was not a huge issue.

Ecb rate July 2008 was 4.25%

Your tracker would have been 5.5%
Svr was 5.7% based on what you say.

For the 3-4 years previously, svr and trackers @ 1.25% were not hugely divergent. That only happened when the banks realised they could fleece svr customers as there was little or no chance of switching.

Therefore at the moment in time the broker (or even probably yourself) would not have seen any great issue of being on svr v tracker. On a 350k mortgage the difference is about €40 a month.

History would show that it would be plausible that the difference would never be substantial, so broker probably didn't fight too hard for the tracker and as you did not fight too much either, the mortgage proceeded as a svr.

So I can't see where there's any case against the broker as no-one could forsee that the banks would target svr mortgages in the way they have unashamedly done.

Hard to swallow, but probably not much that can be done.
 

Sarenco

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Dokhtor

Only the Central Bank can determine whether or not there has been a breach of their Code - they don't publish case law. I don't think there has been a breach of the Code but ultimately it doesn't matter what I think. Only the Central Bank can take any action with respect to this matter so if you think you have a legitimate complaint your only course is to make it to the Central Bank.

Nobody forced you to borrow as suggested and there was no reason why you couldn't have contacted the bank directly if you wanted to or you could have walked across the road to another lender.
You keep insisting that a tracker was available to you but for some mysterious reason this wasn't offered to you because your broker lied to you for zero gain. That flies in the face of logic.

It strikes me that you want to "blame" somebody else for your decision but you don"t propose to do anything about it. That's pointless.
 

todo

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That probably explains why it was not a huge issue.

Ecb rate July 2008 was 4.25%

Your tracker would have been 5.5%
Svr was 5.7% based on what you say.

For the 3-4 years previously, svr and trackers @ 1.25% were not hugely divergent. That only happened when the banks realised they could fleece svr customers as there was little or no chance of switching.

Therefore at the moment in time the broker (or even probably yourself) would not have seen any great issue of being on svr v tracker. On a 350k mortgage the difference is about €40 a month.

History would show that it would be plausible that the difference would never be substantial, so broker probably didn't fight too hard for the tracker and as you did not fight too much either, the mortgage proceeded as a svr.

So I can't see where there's any case against the broker as no-one could forsee that the banks would target svr mortgages in the way they have unashamedly done.

Hard to swallow, but probably not much that can be done.

There is a huge imbalance of power, Bank of Ireland knew at this point that trackers were bad business, you can be certain they done all they could to convert any in flight mortgage applications to svr.

The facts remain the same,

The customer went into the situation looking for a tracker mortgage, got offered a tracker mortgage, but then ended up coming out with an svr mortgage, to the massive benefit of Bank of Ireland.

This was certainly not in the customers best interest, it was in Bank of Ireland's best interest.

I for one smell a rat, it just irks me to know that they will almost certainly get away with this.
 
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dokhtor

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I am not making up. I said the tracker was available to me because in June I was approved for a tracker. We established that the BOI still provided trackers over the summer incl July. Ergo, the trackers were available from the BOI still. Nothing has changed in my circumstances between June when I approved for the tracker, and July, when the broker changed the application. It means that the tracker was indeed available to me and I was misled to think that it was not. The BOI compliance dept has confirmed that. I do not see what it illogical in my summary.

If you think the tracker was not available all along and that the approval in June was not in good faith, then it means that the BOI deceptively lured customers with better products so that they would not walk away, only to amend the terms at the last moment, I find it deceitful. If I was genuinely approved for a tracker in June and it was still available in July, then offering another product I did not apply for at the last moment when all was set is deceitful. I should have walked away, I completely agree. I did not contact the lender directly because I did not know you could when all is done via the broker. There are also opportunity costs when I stayed with the BOI tracker offer from June. I just find the argument that the lender can do anything before the contract is signed too wild west.

At the very least, the broker could have explained the bargaining situation, or recommended that it was an inferior product. If Sarenco does not buy “I do not know what the tracker is” argument from customers, surely such an argument is completely implausible in case of brokers? If my referral to the broker’s behavior as “lies” robs you the wrong way, then at the very least such behavior was unprofessional and not in the best interests of a customer. It is also not a “lie” only if the BOI compliance letter that blamed the broker is rubbish. No matter, whether it was only the BOI, or BOI and the broker both, it did not feel right. Especially in light of my recent experience with switching, now I know how the lender is supposed to deal with customers and what information can be provided. If it was in reverse and I had know what to expect in 2008, of course I would have walked away. If I cant do anything about it, then perhaps some forum members who read it will learn few things about the boi or brokers and perhaps decide to stay away.
 
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dokhtor

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Sarenco, I did not propose to do anything because I did not know if anything could be done. But like todo said, I smell a rat here, it did not feel right then or now. I asked the forum members for their opinion. Sarenco you know a lot about the industry and you believe that it is unlikely anything can be done. I thought that the clauses in article 30 of the CPC 2006, if you read in plain English, sanction such an arbitrary omission of relevant products. I value your opinion even if I wanted to hear different. Other forum members are sympathetic but they do not suggest anything specific. If the FSO is not interested, and the Central Bank does not review cases like this, then what is the point of complaining to the central bank? Besides, will not the Central Bank merely refer to the FSO? I personally think that a lone case like this will be difficult and I do not have the resources. right?

However, I bet if the central bank reviewed all mortgages issued through the broker, like a review of cases in plural, I would be surprised if they did not discover an unusually high number of unaffordable too high mortgages and perhaps a manipulation of clients. If an individual cannot request the regulator for a such review of a financial intermediary I do not know what else. If you have any thoughts, I appreciate them. If not, thank you for your comments.
 
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