PTSB Ombudsman threatening ptsb for not providing information

Daveevan34

Registered User
Messages
3
How many customers were affected?
2,007

What happened to these customers?
There were 4 cohorts
Cohort A - 1,130customers
These customers were entitled to tracker mortgages on expiry of their fixed rate term. But they broke out of their fixed rate early, and ptsb claimed that this meant that they gave up their right to a tracker.

The Central Bank said that because they did not advise the customer when they broke out of their fixed rate early that this meant that they would lose their tracker, they were in breach of the Consumer Protection Code requirement to fully inform customers

Cohort B - 565 customers
ptsb just made plenty of errors through having bad systems. They put people on the wrong rate. They didn't give people trackers they were due. Just the ordinary mistakes which banks make. [And contrary to public opinion, there were also hundreds of customers who were put on a lower rate than they should have been, but these customers were not asked to pay back the "undercharge"]

Cohort C - 279 customers [Sorted in 2010 before the current Tracker Mortgage Enquiry]
There customers had a rate specified in their mortgage contract. But they later fixed their mortgage rate. When the fixed rate ended, they were put on a higher tracker rate. ptsb conceded back in 2009 that this was ambiguous. And when customers complained, they were given the lower rate. But ptsb should have given this rate to all affected customers whether they complained or not.

Cohort D 33 Customers
At the end of a fixed rate period, customers were offered a choice of fixed, variable or tracker. Many chose the variable rate or another fixed rate. ptsb claimed that this meant that they gave up their right to a tracker in the future.

But the contract said: "At the end of any fixed rate period , you will be offered a tracker". But if they later fixed, ptsb refused them a tracker. This was wrong.

Are there other customers still arguing their case?
Yes, there are two main cohorts of customers who are not happy with the rate they were on.

Cohort E - Prevailing Rate customers
These borrowers were told that at the end of their fixed rate, they would be offered a tracker mortgage at the "then prevailing rate". ptsb charged rates of between 1.8% and 3.25%. These customers are arguing that these rates are too high.

Cohort F - Discounted tracker customers
This group of customers took out a mortgage called a "discounted tracker" where they received a discount of 0.2% for the first year and were charged a margin of 0.6%. They assumed that the rate they would be charged on expiry of the first year would be 0.8%, but they were offered the then prevailing rate of up to 3.25%

The Central Bank has concluded its investigation with ptsb so if these customers want to take their cases further, they must now go to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the High Court.

Why was no individual fined? Why did no heads roll?
I asked the Central Bank yesterday if there are any sanctions investigations against current or former employees of ptsb ongoing. They said that they could not comment.

So we just don't know.

It's much easier for the Central Bank to impose a sanction on a bank than on an individual. It is always in the bank's interest to agree to the sanction and fine and draw a line in the sand. Individuals like Michael Fingleton have no incentive to agree to a fine and can run rings around the Central Bank when they try to personally sanction them.
With regard to fines and in particular to my own case. After 4 years waiting and twice that arguing we have a case. Our bank ptsb has said our mortgage is not affected. Yet with 10 questions put to them by our solicitor with the backing of 'all' the recent ombusman, ptsb have ignored the latest deadline for answers regarding our case. The ombusman sent us a letter statin failure to do so would result in imprisonment or a fine. None have been imposed. If it were me I would receive a fine immediately with imprisonment on the near horizon. Musical chairs amongst jokers... I'm the least impressed.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,651
Hi Dave

That is very interesting. I had my doubts, but checked the legislation.

57CH.—A person who—
(a) obstructs the Financial Services Ombudsman in the exercise of a power conferred by this Chapter,or
(b) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement or request made by that Ombudsman under this Chapter, or
(c) in purported compliance with such a requirement or request, gives information that the person knows to be false or misleading, or
(d) refuses to comply with a summons to attend before, or to be examined on oath by, that Ombudsman,

commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding \2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or both.




What is the exact wording of the Ombudsman's letter to ptsb?

I have never heard of the Ombudsman asking the courts to enforce this section. In fact, I have never heard them even threatening to use this section.

Most banks usually provide the required information eventually.

I understand that the most practical "penalty" the Ombudsman usually applies is that they interpret such a refusal in the customer's favour.

Brendan
 

Daveevan34

Registered User
Messages
3
As it happens we just recieved a reply from ptsb today. We got our answers like you said "eventually" but were left with more questions. One being that theres no history of our meetings at our local branch when we made a querie in 2006 for options prior to term end( we were told to sit tight for notification). And a couple of months later when we realised we defaulted. Two being they did offered us at a tracker at a point in time but they were not contractually obliged to do so. But we have no letter of such. And three being obvious confusion over addresses which we are being blamed with but feel with our paper trail the reverse is more likely. We got an apology, so it's back to our solicitor. This is probably all heard before. I'll pass on the wording of the ombudsman when I retrieve it.
 

Daveevan34

Registered User
Messages
3
letter from the Ombudsman


Customer Resolution Centre Manager
Permanent TSB
Customer Relations Dept
Churchyard Lane
Douglas
Cork
4 September 2019
Please quote the reference below in all correspondence to this office and
refrain from using staples as all documents received are scanned.
Re: Disputxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear xxxx
I refer to the above complaint.
The FSPO sent a Summary of Complaint to the Provider on 16 July 2019 and a second letter
was sent to the Provider dated 16 August 2019 calling for the Provider’s written response,
together with all relevant documentation and information.
I note that notwithstanding these requests, the respondent Provider’s formal response is still
outstanding.
I would ask you to note that Section 59(1) of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman
Act 2017 provides:
“A person who- …
(c) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement or request
made by the Ombudsman under this Act,

commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or both.”
Please also note that Section 60(2) of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act
2017 provides
“A complaint may be found to be upheld, substantially upheld or partially upheld only
on one or more of the following grounds:

(f) an explanation for the conduct complained of was not given when it should
have
been given; ”
I am now affording the Provider a final period of 10 working days from the date of this
letter to submit the outstanding formal response to the investigation, failing which the FSPO
will proceed as it considers appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the governing
legislation which are quoted above.
When transmitting the formal response, all items must be submitted to this Office in hard copy,
and in duplicate. All relevant evidence and submissions will be copied to the Complainant in
accordance with the procedures of this office for the formal investigation of complaints.
Similarly, the Provider will also be given an opportunity to respond to all relevant submissions
made by the Complainant.
Yours sincerely,

xxxx
INVESTIGATION OFFICER, TRACKER TEAM
:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,651
Hi Dave
That is a great letter. It's a pity that ptsb did respond. The Ombudsman could have used their non-response against them.

Brendan

“A complaint may be found to be upheld, substantially upheld or partially upheld only on one or more of the following grounds:

(f) an explanation for the conduct complained of was not given when it should have been given; ”
 
Top