PTSB Overcharged couple reject PTSB’s ‘derisory’ compensation offer

Brendan Burgess

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I just heard Liam Fitzgerald on Matt Cooper, talking absolute nonsense.

He said something like "by accepting the offer they may be prejudicing themselves as regards adequate compensation"

He has no idea what he is speaking about.

Unfortunately Matt Cooper treated him like a hero who had fought ptsb and won.

As Fitzgerald said "I have 5 or 6 other clients in similar positions". Unfortunately, he will probably get more clients based on this.

Brendan
 

baltic

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There is no such argument. Read the wording of the document you are being asked to sign.
I disagree. Basic principles of offer and acceptance in contract law. You accept an offer and contract is made.
You may subsequently appeal of course, but the contract is made in any event.
At no point do I read that the compensation is interim or part payment.
 

L John

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Padraig kissane is not a solicitor, he is a financial advisor.

If people want to take legal advice in relation to the issue then they should take legal advice and not be persuaded otherwise.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Padraig kissane is not a solicitor, he is a financial advisor.
Most accountants and financial advisors would not understand these issues.

Solicitors wouldn't even know where to start. If you go to a solicitor, they will have to go to someone like Padraic Kissane to evaluate the offer.

Most of these cases will be resolved without any need for legal advice. There are no legal issues involved.

If Padraic Kissane can't reach an agreement which is acceptable to you, or if he disagrees on a point of law e.g. the customers where rates were not specified, he will consult a legal team who are capable of advising on this issue.

Brendan
 

Sarenco

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Well, I would be of the view that people should seek legal advice if they are in any doubt about the import of any form that they are being requested to complete or return and advising people not to do so is unwise.

I actually think that Mr FitzGerald's approach is quite interesting. His strategy appears to be to pursue the overcharged amount as an uncontested contract debt and then request a Court to exercise its discretion to apply interest to that debt.

Would he do as well in an "appeal" to the PTSB appointed appeals board? Possibly, but he may be taking the view that his hand would be strengthened in any possible settlement negotiations by by-passing the internal PTSB process entirely and going straight to the Courts.

He could well be right.

I'm obviously speculating here, but Mr FitzGerald may be calculating that PTSB would be very anxious to avoid this matter going to a hearing in case the decision goes against them and sets a precedent or benchmark against which all subsequent or past decisions of their appeals board could be judged. By going to the Courts early, he may be calculating that he will be better positioned to extract an attractive settlement offer from PTSB.
 
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odyssey06

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How can anyone outside of the High Court know what impact accepting the initial compensation will have on a future High Court appeal?
This is not something PTSB or the FSO have any say over.

After all that PTSB have put this couple through, they probably have zero trust in any PTSB-related scheme e.g. an "independent" appeals board and probably plan directly to seek compensation in the courts. RTE article on this states this:
"They are also seeking damages for alleged breach of contract, unlawful interference with their economic interests, as well as punitive and exemplary damages."
http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0813/721052-ptsb/

So if that is their plan, what would be the point in engaging with PTSB's process when it was fundamentally wrong. They brought a case and won because they were correct - the monies owed to them should have been paid and any aspect of compensation processed separately.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Well, I would be of the view that people should seek legal advice if they are in any doubt about the import of any form that they are being requested to complete or return and advising people not to do so is unwise.
Sarenco. I presume you have not read the form? Read it and then see if you think the same. It is simply a direction to pay the money into whatever account you want.

ptsb has not helped by using the expression "offer" although it is not on the form. It is nor like a claim for compensation where you claim €100k. They offer €20k. And you settle by agreement on €50k in full and final settlement. It is a payment, not an offer.
I actually think that Mr FitzGerald's approach is quite interesting. His strategy appears to be to pursue the overcharged amount as an uncontested contract debt and then request a Court to exercise its discretion to apply interest to that debt.
Have you seen or heard any of the interviews with him? He just took an injunction because he misunderstood the form. He achieved absolutely nothing. He has accepted the payment which they proposed to make last week.

Would he do as well in an "appeal" to the PTSB appointed appeals board? Possibly, but he may be taking the view that his hand would be strengthened in any possible settlement negotiations by by-passing the internal PTSB process entirely and going straight to the Courts.

He could well be right.
A completely separate issue to his trips to the court. He may choose to bypass the Appeals process. I think he is wrong, but he may be right and I may be wrong.

The key thing is that signing that form to nominate the account to which the money is to be paid, does not affect that at all.
 

Brendan Burgess

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They brought a case and won because they were correct - the monies owed to them should have been paid and any aspect of compensation processed separately.
See above. They did not win. They are no further that they were before they took this case. They claim that they have got clarity that choosing a bank account does not affect their right to claim more compensation. That was clear to anyone who bothered to read the document before this.
 

Brendan Burgess

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from RTE.ie

In a sworn statement grounding the application Mr Fitzgerald a solicitor of Perrin Way, Lusk Village said it was "utterly reprehensible " PTSB has not unequivocally offered to "immediately" and "without question" repay him and his wife the amount they were overcharged.

There is "no legal basis" for refusing to pay the sums overcharged, he said. He said the condition they accept the offer of compensation offered before the can get back the amount overcharged is "a disgraceful requirement."
He shows in his own words that he had no idea at all what he was talking about.

And just in case, you want it yet again directly from ptsb's mouth:

A spokesman for the financial institution said: "We welcome the fact that the customers have agreed to accept the original offer made to them by the bank last week.


"Our programme is designed to make it as easy as possible for customers to receive compensation and redress upfront and we want all impacted customers to receive this compensation and redress as soon as possible."

The spokesperson added: "We particularly welcome the public clarification that any impacted customers can accept their compensation and redress immediately and still appeal for more compensation through the appeal panels established as part of the Mortgage Redress Programme, or even take the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman or the Courts if they wish
 

Brendan Burgess

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I would argue that they won in the sense that they established the principle that the monies owed to them and the compensation due to them are two separate processes.
Sorry odyssey. They established nothing of the sort. It was already well established. Have you read the actual forms which I attached to an earlier post?
 

odyssey06

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Sorry odyssey. They established nothing of the sort. It was already well established. Have you read the actual forms which I attached to an earlier post?
If you are referring to "Mortgage rate instruction and payment authorisation form", all I see in that form are ands - everything is linked: redress, compensation, adjustment to your mortgage acocunt. I see no indication that these could be processed\considered separately - but perhaps I missed something?
 

Brendan Burgess

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A: Tick to authorise us to make a redress payment (if any) and a compensation
payment to the account below (this is the account from which payments to your
mortgage are currently made) and to authorise us to apply any adjustment to your
mortgage accounts as part of this redress programme.
It's great to see someone actually reading it.

The linking is that you are signing one piece of paper to authorise all this.

ptsb is absolutely right to do this. They could have opted for 3 separate forms and forced people to fill in all the details again. Why on earth would they do that?

I presume you have noticed that the word "offer" and "accept" are not on this form? I presume you have noticed "in full and final settlement" is not on this form?

Brendan
 

odyssey06

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It's great to see someone actually reading it.
The linking is that you are signing one piece of paper to authorise all this.
ptsb is absolutely right to do this. They could have opted for 3 separate forms and forced people to fill in all the details again. Why on earth would they do that?
I presume you have noticed that the word "offer" and "accept" are not on this form? I presume you have noticed "in full and final settlement" is not on this form?
I think it would have been quite a trivial thing to have had another box on the form where customers could 'tick' to accept the initial compensation to be paid to the same account; or could have chosen to consider that offer (with a lengthy timeframe) while immediate repayment was made of the mortgage account.
The tiny extra overhead in case management workflow this would cause PTSB is surely warranted given that they are entirely in the wrong in this entire matter and have been for years. It's an extra status in the process, that's all.

It has obviously caused confusion to the average PTSB customer, who, after the shoddy treatment they've received are immediately inclined to distrust any PTSB document and suspect that another fast one is being pulled on them to add to the list.

Is it standard practice in financial services cases like these to include repayment, and an initial compensation immediately? And to not allow customers any mechanism in the process to accept repayment immediately and consider the compensation amount? It really should be.
And haven't there been cases in the past where financial organisations have used this dual repayment + compensation as full and final settlement if accepted?

So it should have been anticipated that by linking the processing of the various monies involved that they would sow confusion among customers, who are naturally more inclined to trust the flow of money than words on a page which after all, PTSB have weaseled out of repeatedly in the past.
 

Brendan Burgess

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One of my criticisms of the programme, is that the letter is too long and complicated.

I also think that the mortgage adjustment should have been done automatically without needing authorisation.

So that would leave us the refund and the compensation.

I think that one box is simpler.

But maybe they should have had two boxes. And under the compensation box they could say, yet again, "ticking this box, does not affect your right in any way to pursue compensation in excess of this amount"

Maybe they should have completely separated the compensation scheme from the refund scheme?
Stage 1: Write to people saying:
1) We have put you back on a tracker
2) We have adjusted the balance
3) We have calculated a refund - please nominate an account to accept it into.
4) If you are not happy with any of these calculations, you can appeal.
5) We will write to you in the coming weeks, to discuss compensation.

Stage 2: Write to people with the compensation payment instruction and instructions on how to appeal.

I have no doubt that if they did that, they would also be criticised for making it a two stage process.

Brendan
 

AppleSun

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164
I heard Liam Fitzgerald saying you may prejudice yourself against future compensation by accepting the current compensation. I agree with Brendan, PTSB made this completely clear that by accepting the compensation etc, it would not affect any future appeals.

However I am slightly confused. Are the couple getting the 60k cash into their hands (seems to be the case), or are they getting it paid off the remaining balance of the mortgage like the rest of us? I had no choice in whether to take the 60k or to pay it off the mortgage...
 

odyssey06

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Hi Brendan, I understand where you are coming from, but I think for the average customer it's easier to fill out:
(a) two simple, conceptually different forms separated in time
versus
(b) a single, more complex form that has multiple concepts in it.

Approach (b) has clearly caused stress and confusion to already stressed customers.
By contrast, splitting the forms would be additional paperwork but I think it's capacity to cause stress and confusion would be greatly diminished - not disregarding the fact that for some people filling in any financial form is stressful.
 
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