Switched from a fixed rate - lost my tracker. Any comeback?


Frequent Poster
i took out a 2 year fixed rate mortgage with a provider late 2007. Subsequently, after about 16 months or so, like many others i saw that the variable rate was lower then the fixed rate I was tied into and hence asked the provider if it was possible to move to the variable rate.

Some friends were in a similar position and on enquiry of switching to variable were presented with demands for significant 'redemption fees' to move to variable.

However, when i rang the provider, there was no request for same redenption and I was just requested to send in written request for change to variable. I got confirmation for same within days.

Now I undersand why there was such expedience with my request...

I have since discovered that in my original mortgage agreement that the contract stated that once exiting the fixed rate, then my mortgage would enter into a tracker of 1% of ECB.

My bad on not being aware of this when requesting the change.
Question is, was there an onus on the mortgage provider to advise me of same when I was enquiring about switching to variable?

Same provider has since upped the variable to 4.65 so Im way out of pocket.
Do I have any comeback?


Brendan Burgess

Hi Watcher

A few people have complained to the Ombudsman. Check out his case studies online to see how he judged in such cases.



Frequent Poster
I agree that the OP should see if how the ombudsman is reacting to such cases.

However, read the T&Cs very carefully. Your right to a tracker mortgage is likely only to exist after the fixed rate period is up, and by asking the bank to break the fixed rate, you waived your right to this option. As I say, depends on the exact wording.


Frequent Poster
I’ve a similar situation with that shower... PTSB.

Came off a 2year fixed & not offered a tracker.
I was offered a tracker when i came off my last 2yr fixed period (i know, I should have taken it). I now have the unenviable decision of staying on 4.65 variable or fixing! (5.25 2yrs, 5.75 5yrs)


Frequent Poster
am in the same situation.

looked for those sample cases on the ombudsman site, can't find anything in relation to mortgage rates.


Frequent Poster

I think this is key in relation to case. Very poignant to see how this turns out.
Whats your view on 'fuduciary relationship'?

In the case referenced above the appeal by the lender must highlight errors which resulted in the arrival at judgement by the FSO. The initial case details are not reviewed by the high court, merely the means at which the resultant decision was arrived at.
The lender is argueing the legal requirement of fiduciary relationship and proposing that it acted in its own interest.

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Registered User
Very interested in this one.
Any legal eagles care to proffer opinions?

Crux of the case seems to be that
Paul Gallagher, for the bank, said the bank was entitled under law "to look after its own interest".

Wheras the onbudsman states

under the Consumer Protection Code coming into place in January 2012 the "law of the land" would require banks to set out a series of pieces of information when someone loses a tracker mortgage and to inform them that if they switched to a different interest rate they would not be entitled to revert to the tracker.
Mr McDermott said it was "clearly" a problem and an issue for people if it was being emphasised in the code.

"How can the bank say that the Ombudsman is getting it wrong when the law is changing to this?" he queried, after the Ombudsman had found that it should have been set out in writing for the couple.
Mr McDermott said telling a consumer there was "no penalty" when they switched mortgage interest rates would be taken by a consumer to mean no disadvantage.
He added that the bank was taking a legalistic approach with the Ombudsman, who views a case informally in terms of good conscience.
The case continues

My thought is that the ombudsman acted in good faith in an ethical manner, but legally is the lender correct? As a point of law the lender was not at the time obliged to act in an ethical manner or was there a duty of care to the customer?

LEgally was the ombudsman correct? or did he err?



Moved from Tracker to Fixed Rate but was not offered option to return to Tracker.


I moved from a Tracker to a Fixed rate mortgage with Ulster Bank in October 2006 and the Bank's transfer letter stated that I would revert to a Standard Variable Rate.

With my Fixed Rate expiring this month, I feel that the bank should have been a lot clearer to me about the consequences of moving from a Tracker to a fixed rate.

For the following reasons I feel that I have a case but would like to know if anyone is aware of a precedent in

1. There were no "Reason why/Suitability Statements" for mortgages in 2006 and as result I feel that I was not fully informed by the bank of the consequences of my decision.

2. I believe that there is a Consumer Protection Code coming into place in January 2012. The "law of the land" would require banks to set out a series of pieces of information when someone loses a tracker mortgage and to inform them that if they switched to a different interest rate they would not be entitled to revert to the tracker. I did not have that consumer protection back in 2006 but am being impacted by it now.

3. I see that there is precedent in a case whereby the transfer documentation signed by a customer was not clear and the consequences (good or bad) of moving from the tracker to the fixed interest rate for a set term were not sufficiently set out in the documentation. The complaint was substantiated and the FSO directed the Bank to place the mortgage on a ‘tracker’ rate backdated to the point at which the fixed interest rate period expired.
I believe my case to be very similar to this. My transfer letter just stated that I would be moving to a Standard Varable rate after the Fixed Rate Expired.

4. Finally because I was never offered the tracker when I think the Bank should have offered it to me, I feel that have good grounds for complaint and maybe compensation and reinstatement of the tracker rate.

If anybody has any views on whether or not they think I have a case, I would really appreciate your comments.

Many Thanks



Frequent Poster

I had a very similar case when fixed in 2006. By all means, its worth a try...but I went to FSO with mine as I felt I might have a case for the exact same reasons you mention but FSO sided with Bank.

Seemed that recent code of conduct in relation to bank making absolutely clear to customer that they'd lose tracker didn't have any impact. But anything is worth a try like I said. Took me approx. 10 months.


Registered User
Hi all I also feel I have a case, I fixed with UB in 2007 for three years there was no mention of losing my tracker mortgage on the letter offering the fixed rate options it stated the following 'at the end of the fixed period: ulster bank may offer to continue the advance for such a period and at such a fixed rate as it may decide. It may also offer alternative available products. If such offer is made and you elect to accept them you must do so in writing.......if no such offer is made or if an offer is made and no acceptance is received as prescribed above, then, FROM THE DAY FOLLOWING THE EXPIRY OF ANY OPTION SELECTED ABOVE, THE ULSTER BANK HOME LOAN RATE SHALL APPLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL CONDITION 2 OF THE OFFER OF ADVANCE ORIGINALLY ACCEPTED BY YOU' (subsequent letter offering fixed rates in 2012 when my fixed rate term ended does mention that the tracker rate will no longer be available). I got my offer letter from my solicitor which states 'THE RATE OF THE ULSTER BANK FLEXIBLE MORTGAGE TRACKS ECB RATE WITH A MARGIN WHICH IS FIXED FOR THE LIFE OF THE HOME LOAN TERM. THE MARGIN FOR THIS HOME LOAN IS ECB RATE PLUS 1.15%' My question is who do I go to first? I rang Ulster Bank who advised I could revert to my tracker mortgage and when I stated I believed I could they sent me all the documentation I signed when I fixed, do I contact them in writing now or do I go straight to the ombudsman? I know I could contact Padraic Kissane but I would like to see if I can get this resolved myself or do I suck it up and pay the €600 plus the 15% of compensation if I am lucky enough to get that far? My current mortgage rate is 4.5% and if I was on tracker would be 1.65% - bit of a difference plus it's almost three years since I came off my fixed rate so I believe the compensation would be significant. Anyhuw any advice on this would be appreciated.

Thanks and regards,



Frequent Poster
You need to exhaust the bank's internal complaint procedure before you can go to the Ombudsman so need to start there. There are I would say several posters who did this, one who comes to mind is LucyBousy, try search for her threads, she also posted on Rollercoaster under the Money Matters thread, loads of info there.


Registered User
Aine K, we had exactly the same situation and documentation as you on an investment mortgage with UB. Fixed for five years and were not offered tracker back. Complained to bank and threatened FSO and got tracker back fairly fast without ever going to FSO. Lots of people have gotten trackers back in your same situation. Good luck, hope you are making progress.


Frequent Poster
Hi all check out pod cast on radio Kerry on jerry o Sullivan show called 'Kerry Today' it might be of help to people with their tracker situation www.radiokerry.ie I was on the show yesterday hope it helps Padraic