Richard Curran: Time for plain talking about who is to blame for tracker scandal

moneymakeover

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Bronte

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We don't do white collar crime in Ireland.

Last week the governor of the Central Bank, Philip Lane, was back before the Oireachtas Committee on Finance. He spoke, among other subjects, about the massive operation by virtually the entire Irish banking system to deceive customers into giving up tracker mortgages and accepting higher interest rates.

And there was no reason to believe from anything we heard from him or his colleagues that anyone will face criminal prosecution for this enormous scam.
 

Brendan Burgess

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The level of fraud (15,000) is three times the number of fraud cases normally reported in an entire year (5,000)
Fraud is a criminal offence.

I have not seen or heard of any evidence of fraud relating to trackers. There has been a lot of bad treatment of customers, but nothing I have seen yet, comes anywhere close to fraud.

And be careful what you wish for. If the Central Bank suspects fraud, they would have to refer it to the Gardai. And the whole process would stop for years while they investigate it.

Brendan
 

Bronte

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Fraud is a criminal offence.

I have not seen or heard of any evidence of fraud relating to trackers. There has been a lot of bad treatment of customers, but nothing I have seen yet, comes anywhere close to fraud.

And be careful what you wish for. If the Central Bank suspects fraud, they would have to refer it to the Gardai. And the whole process would stop for years while they investigate it.

Brendan
Well Fintan O'Toole, who of course is not a lawyer, thinks otherwise:

The Criminal Law (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 says: “A person who dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another by any deception, induces another to do or refrain from doing an act, is guilty of an offence.”

Is there not a very strong prima facie case that very senior people in the banks deceived other people (their customers) to take an action (changing their mortgages) with the intention of making a gain for others (the bank) and a loss for those customers?

You would agree that the banks deliberately stopped people having their trackers?
 

Brendan Burgess

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If I run a boiler room and encourage people to invest in a non-existent company, that is fraud pure and simple. If I get caught, I will be convicted and sentenced for it.

We know that the banks interpreted their mortgage contracts differently from some of their customers. In many of these cases, the FSO who is independent, upheld the banks' interpretations. In some cases they sided with the customer.

That is not fraud.

So what about the space in between these two positions?

There seems to be a few legal tests, all of which must be met
  • dishonesty
  • intention to cause a loss
  • by deception
  • induces another to do or not do something
I have not yet seen these criteria being met.

There are enforcement investigations going on in ptsb and Ulster Bank and maybe some evidence of fraud will emerge from those investigations.

BoI wrote to customers on trackers about 2 years ago inviting them to fix. Was that dishonest? Was it deception? I am not sure. I am absolutely sure that anyone who fixed as a result of that letter should get their trackers back without any argument. I just don't know if it meets the very high bar of criminality.

Brendan
 

emeralds

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Fraud is a criminal offence.

I have not seen or heard of any evidence of fraud relating to trackers. There has been a lot of bad treatment of customers, but nothing I have seen yet, comes anywhere close to fraud.

And be careful what you wish for. If the Central Bank suspects fraud, they would have to refer it to the Gardai. And the whole process would stop for years while they investigate it.

Brendan
I am almost 100% sure I heard last week that the Central Bank have been in touch with the Gardai about this.
Edited to add that yes I did.
https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2017/0404/865065-philip-lane-on-mortgages/
 

Onceagain

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It's easy for people who have not been impacted, ignored, and walked on for 8 years, not to understand the huge impact that this is and continues to have on people. If the shoe was on the other foot, I wonder would they so understanding of the banks.
 

T McGibney

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Well Fintan O'Toole, who of course is not a lawyer, thinks otherwise:

The Criminal Law (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 says: “A person who dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another by any deception, induces another to do or refrain from doing an act, is guilty of an offence.”

Is there not a very strong prima facie case that very senior people in the banks deceived other people (their customers) to take an action (changing their mortgages) with the intention of making a gain for others (the bank) and a loss for those customers?


You would agree that the banks deliberately stopped people having their trackers?
Fintan is indeed not a lawyer, but the master of the bogus conflation and the self-serving half-truth.

He remains strangely silent about the prime facie case that very senior people in The Irish Times spent €50m buying an auctioneers website to deceive other people (the site's readership) to take an action (overpaying for houses) with the intention of making a gain for others (the Irish Times and the site's auctioneering clientele) and a loss for those customers.
 

moneymakeover

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Trying to stay on topic

Governor Lane also said the banks were interpreting contacts to suit their interests

That is wrong of the banks obviously and potentially fraud.

Where was the central bank for 8 years while this was happening?

Where was the ombudsman?

Easy for Governor Lane to produce sound bites for politicians but when will it all be corrected?
 

Brendan Burgess

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Governor Lane also said the banks were interpreting contacts to suit their interests

That is wrong of the banks obviously and potentially fraud.
Most people and companies do interpret contracts to suit their own interests. That is not fraud.


Where was the central bank for 8 years while this was happening?
They did intervene occasionally, but only when it was very clear cut.

Bank of Ireland/ICS puts 2,096 customers back on trackers after their fixed rate expired

Weren't BoI very lucky that the Central Bank copped this on time and got them to fix it? Others waited until 2015 and people have had big claims for compensation as a result.

Where was the ombudsman?
The Ombudsman was fulfilling its duty and its only duty. Its job is to resolve complaints. When it got complaints about trackers, it resolved them, sometimes in favour of the borrower, sometimes in favour of the banks. I believe that they also referred systemic issues to the Central Bank which did occasionally take action.


Brendan
 

Jim2007

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You would agree that the banks deliberately stopped people having their trackers?
If we followed his logic then we'd end up charging everyone that ever made an ad.

O'Tool is just a blogger at this stage, who's objective is get attention so advertising flows in.
 

nonie

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BoI didn't "cop on" to my mortgage on back of CB intervention in 2010 even though we'd been arguing for the Tracker back since 2008.... so that's one account that they were aware of but choose not to correct...
 

moneymakeover

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Same goes for me regarding Bank of Ireland and many others i would guess

Bank of Ireland are not out of the woods yet

And really Brendan.... You really consider yourself a consumer advocate?
 

Brendan Burgess

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BoI didn't "cop on" to my mortgage on back of CB intervention in 2010 even though we'd been arguing for the Tracker back since 2008.... so that's one account that they were aware of but choose not to correct...
Hi nonie

Your case is very specific and not the same issue as this.


Bank of Ireland/ICS puts 2,096 customers back on trackers after their fixed rate expired

My view at the time was that you had virtually no case.
http://www.askaboutmoney.com/threads/boi-tracker-rate-advise-on-appealing-to-high-court.189082/#post-1399782

Having said that, the tracker review is throwing up some strange decisions, so you might get compensation.

Brendan
 
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moneymakeover

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Brendan

I don't mean to be harsh but mistakes were made.

Possibly criminal.

Banks can't interpret contracts to their own advantage when they are wrong and even when there is ambiguity.

The main reason they did it was because they stood to gain so much.

They only behave themselves when
  • The stakes are small
  • The bailiff is watching
 

Bronte

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He remains strangely silent about the prime facie case that very senior people in The Irish Times spent €50m buying an auctioneers website to deceive other people (the site's readership) to take an action (overpaying for houses) with the intention of making a gain for others (the Irish Times and the site's auctioneering clientele) and a loss for those customers.
Wow, you should start a thread on that. Never heard of that before !
 

nonie

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@Brendan Burgess . On a timeline Brendan this was the first error on our account. If our Tracker had been returned to us at any point when we argued for it from 2008 on then we could have made informed financial decisions. The FSO ruling was that BoI "did act wrongfully, and in breach of duty, when it failed to offer the Complainants the option of switching mortgage account XXX back to the original tracker rate". In addition BoI then withdrew banking services from us post the Ruling. If we are not compensated for the financial and mental detriment Bank of Ireland has caused then this Review has failed.
 
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