EBS What does an EBS "Variable Base Rate" mortgage mean?

B26354

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Following this thread for about six weeks and just received a copy of my data from EBS. Disappointed to say the least. There is nothing in it apart from a two page contract, despite me listing exactly what I wanted. Does this mean they haven’t got anything else or they are just being incredibly difficult? I had hoped they would send details of the fixed period I signed up to in June 2004 as I thought I signed up to this originally and it didn’t start until after the special introductory interest rate offer! I believed if I signed up originally then they would have had to offer a tracker rate when I came off fixed.

My question is if I signed up to a fixed rate originally and EBS weren’t offering trackers at that stage then should I have been offered one when I came off fixed in 2006?

Thanks in advance.
Did you have the term variable base rate in your contract or SVR?
 

Zizigirl

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Did you have the term variable base rate in your contract or SVR?
In the so called contract they sent me there is no mention of vbr or svr but in my paperwork, loan offer and cheque, it’s mentioned as variable base rate.
 

tonymac

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Hi all, as promised i now wish to write out the response i received from Padraig and unfortunately it isnt good but i would be keen to hear peoples thoughts on this. In response i have sent 2 emails requesting anexplanation as to why Padraig is siding with the EBS and CB as it is quite obvious these contracts are ambiguous and did track the ECB rate.
" Unfortunately while there are merits to the argument that the VBR did track the same coursr as trackers for a period 2005-2008. However this has not been conceded in any degree by either EBS or indeed within the Central Bank of Ireland investigation. Unfortunately i cannot see any success in challenging this, Padraig"
 

tnegun

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If it tracked it I don't see why either has to concede it, it's fact. Are they claiming it was coincidence?
 

tonymac

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If it tracked it I don't see why either has to concede it, it's fact. Are they claiming it was coincidence?
They must be as they have refused to concede, it was no co-incidence to me but then again EBS have been and continue to get away with it for a long time now. I did speak with Padraigs secretary earlier and she said my stuff will be kept on file and we will be contacted if there is any changes in this cohorts position such as new evidence etc so if any of you have stuff that you feel will get the cohort over the line and are not already with Padraig please get in touch with him asap. There is stuff on this thread so whoever owns it please contact Padraig so as he has seen EVERYTHING relating to this group because otherwise im afraid it is a lost cause. She said if there are any changes in position she would get in touch.
 

peemac

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Variable rates have always tracked the ecb rates and previously the central bank of Ireland rate.
It was only around 2010 when the banks realized that there was nothing to stop them not tracking the ecb rate for variable rate customers.

And unfortunately, without anything that has the word "tracker" or something that gives you a specific margin over ecb rate, I cannot see the argument here.

I'd love to tell you what you want to hear, but that would be codding you.
 

B26354

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And unfortunately, without anything that has the word "tracker" or something that gives you a specific margin over ecb rate, I cannot see the argument here.
There is EBS documentation given to variable base customers that includes a specific margin over the ECB rate.
 

peemac

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There is EBS documentation given to variable base customers that includes a specific margin over the ECB rate.
I have looked over most of the thread and can't see that anywhere. If anything some posters are tripping themselves up.

Eg - stating that the base rate is the ecb rate, then stating that a 5.33% variable base rate is suddenly a 1.33% tracker.

Also some posters are adamant that base rate can only mean ecb base rate. That is incorrect. Many banks have their own base rate - it usually follows the base rate of the specific country, but doesn't have to.

I really think you are trying to make an argument for something that simply is not there and with so much publicity on the tracker issue, many people will want to think they have a chance.

Unfortunately, unless there is something in print that gives a specific rate above "ecb" rate or the word "tracker", you really have little to no chance of success as the arguments put forward are simply not good enough.

As I said, I'd love to say otherwise, but over the years I've learnt to be realistic
 

tonymac

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There is EBS documentation given to variable base customers that includes a specific margin over the ECB rate.
These are for me the contracts that for me should be successful as they do have a reference on them to ECB+. and i do wish any of ye well that do continue pursuing this. Hi Peemac, i prefer people to be straight like you are here so i dont have any issue with youre comments. I cant help feeling disappointed tonight but i always did realise that this was a live possibility. As Padraigs secretary said the banks will have lawyers looking at their own contracts to ensure theyre watertight and the VBR group is no different.
 

Themurph

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OK so you say pk does not agree. so what, this man has done the world for a lot for tracker's n stuff but I never was waiting on his opinion only, its simple I'll goto the end of the high court if needed it may take years but I do believe that when all is said n done my contract does not and has never referenced svr simple, as I say I respect this man's opinion but that's what it is his opinion even if we never get what we want I know what I signed for and it was not a svr ill not change my opinion even if other people just want closure I know these people have robbed me of a decent living with the rates they charged ill never stop fighting till the fight is done, again thanks to pk...
 

tonymac

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OK so you say pk does not agree. so what, this man has done the world for a lot for tracker's n stuff but I never was waiting on his opinion only, its simple I'll goto the end of the high court if needed it may take years but I do believe that when all is said n done my contract does not and has never referenced svr simple, as I say I respect this man's opinion but that's what it is his opinion even if we never get what we want I know what I signed for and it was not a svr ill not change my opinion even if other people just want closure I know these people have robbed me of a decent living with the rates they charged ill never stop fighting till the fight is done, again thanks to pk...
Giving up on a fight is not part of the way i do things myself usually and i agree totally with youre sentiments but bar the ombudsman which i am considering as an option to take this or the courts which to be honest i simply could not afford where do we go. I would love to see it get tested somewhere because as you say SVR is not referenced in my partners contract either.
 

peemac

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Just to inform anyone as to options

Court - it would be the high Court. Minimum costs in excess of €100,000.
Always good to know that about 30% of the legal profession annual fees are paid by the banking sector. They will throw the best legal team against you.
Waiting time - approx 2 years.
Chance of success - almost zero.


So only option is ombudsman.
Cost - free, but I'd always advise professional assistance.

Chance of success. Small

You must prove that a normal person could have safely assumed that what is written in the contract is what you are saying.

And in the absence of a rate margin over the ecb rate, that is not possible as tracker margins varied from bank to bank and even within the same bank.

You'd also have to show that you challenged this almost immediately after you came off your fixed rate.

Eg. I came off kbc fixed rate in Nov 2008, wrote to them with complaint Jan 2009, took ombudsman case May 2009.

If someone came off fixed rate in 2012 or thereabouts and only brought up the tracker argument in 2017, it would be impossible to convince anyone of a case.
 
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kelryn

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Hi, sorry new this thread. I have a case opened about 2 years with with the ombudsman against EBS over the wording of my contract.

I have letters from the EBS stating my variable base rate is increasing inline with the ECB rate. I have multiple letters that state this.

Note sure if this was mentioned in a previous post but Standard Variable Rate” (September 2006) was defined by the EBS as “A mortgage rate which can rise and fall in line with the interest rate changes set by the European Central Bank (ECB)”. this would lead the consume to believe they had a tracker mortgage.


I'm assuming form the response from PK, its pointless fighting further as the CB has sided with EBS
 

B26354

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254
Hi, sorry new this thread. I have a case opened about 2 years with with the ombudsman against EBS over the wording of my contract.

I have letters from the EBS stating my variable base rate is increasing inline with the ECB rate. I have multiple letters that state this.

Note sure if this was mentioned in a previous post but Standard Variable Rate” (September 2006) was defined by the EBS as “A mortgage rate which can rise and fall in line with the interest rate changes set by the European Central Bank (ECB)”. this would lead the consume to believe they had a tracker mortgage.


I'm assuming form the response from PK, its pointless fighting further as the CB has sided with EBS
I wouldn’t say it’s pointless as there are inconsistencies in the documentation that each variable base customer has received. A poster on this forum was redressed and put back on the tracker because they had a fixed to variable base contract but also signed a tracker application form. Other variable base customers have additional documentation confirming the variable base is a tracker rate. Some variable base customers have been informed by EBS that they can’t locate the loan application forms so it can’t be confirmed what type of mortgage the customer applied for in the first place. No harm in getting PK to have a look at your case to see if it’s worth pursuing.
 

B26354

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Padraic kissane said yesterday that he thinks 5000 cases have been left behind by the CBI investigation.He didn’t mention the EBS variable base cases by name but I assume that number includes that group. FSPO or court the only options left now.
 

Togger

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Hi All, long time lurker on this thread (I have read the thread three times to try and get to grips with some of the terminologies).

My situation is a tad different from everyone here. House was purchased in 2007 with a top-up mortgage taken out in 2010 (all done with an EBS branch manager). Everything was going well until 2013 when a combination of illness and redundancy for myself and my partner resulted in a voluntary sale for loss, the house was sold with a residual balance. As we were not in a financial position to repay any of the balance, the value was written down.

This week I was advised by a friend to look into the mortgage and check to see if the mortgage and top-up loan were affected by the tracker issues. I have been on the phone to EBS three days in a row where I was told:

Day one: "You should have been offered a tracker"
Day two: "Your account was not affected as you were on a fixed term from drawdown"
Day three: "Your main account doesn't seem affected but cannot access details of the top-up loan"

Today (day 3), I asked for a definition for the terms "variable base rate" and "standard variable rate" and was informed the VBR is linked to the ECB and SVR is the standard rate. I then advised the lady that according to the jargon buster section in EBS leaflets (thanks to posters on this thread for this information), both meant the same thing... I received no response. I have asked for a complaint to be opened on the top-up loan and for this account to be reviewed, the member of staff said she would arrange this and asked that I email EBS if I come across any information which may support my case once I have received the paperwork relating to both accounts.

As my mortgage account is deemed as an older account and the top-up loan moved to a different system, it will take time to determine if the mortgage was affected. What I do remember is that we received letters advising of a rate change and the new monthly payment once the fixed period finished on both accounts.

I am aware that all this may not result in a positive outcome. We have disposed of all correspondence as it really was a bad chapter in our lives but I am keen to see what happens. I have requested information yesterday on the main account using the SAR form and as I now have the account number for the top-up mortgage, I have sent one-off for that account too.
 

B26354

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I
Today (day 3), I asked for a definition for the terms "variable base rate" and "standard variable rate" and was informed the VBR is linked to the ECB and SVR is the standard rate
So they are now admitting that the variable base rate is NOT their standard variable rate and the the VBR rate is linked to the ECB rate but the SVR is not? Why are customers who have a contractual obligation to be on the VBR now on a SVR?
 

Togger

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I

So they are now admitting that the variable base rate is NOT their standard variable rate and the the VBR rate is linked to the ECB rate but the SVR is not? Why are customers who have a contractual obligation to be on the VBR now on a SVR?
That is what it sounded like to me although each time I called, it seemed like I was being fobbed off especially as the account is no longer active.
 
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