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

Magsodf

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22
Delighted for the AIB lads !! Do you think we’ve a chance now to get our money back ?
 

B26354

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Delighted for the AIB lads !! Do you think we’ve a chance now to get our money back ?
Not sure. A lot will depend on the FSPO & the questions they are asking of EBS. If EBS admit there was no definition of the variable base rate at time of contract issue then we stand a very good chance in my opinion. Ultimately that will answer the question posed in this thread. If they admit to not having a definition then no one could have known what the term “variable base rate” meant at that time(2004-2008).

I recall reading information on how FSPO make decisions and the importance interpretation of contract T&C’s at time of issue. Retrospective interpretations are meaningless if there isn’t clarity or there is ambiguity at time of loan contract issue .
 

tonymac

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212
Absolutely thrilled for everyone in the AIB
group whose long journey for justice has come to an end. I do recall in a conversation i had with Brendan about our issue and how convinced he was about the prevailing rate group. I do remember some of ye on this group saying ye had cases with the ombudsman which I havent gone to yet but as there are cases already in the pipeline those decisions will hopefully come out first and soon and successfully. The absence of a definition for me gives us a chance as does the ambiguity in our contracts so todays result gives hope.
 
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Themurph

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Yes it sure gives a bit of hope that things could go in our favour just have to wait and trust in common sense that the ambiguity of our cohort is plan to see fingers crossed , congratulations to all whom got great news this morning in the aib Cohort well done Brendan
 

B26354

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280
I think we’ve a good case because the EBS variable base contract was fundamentally flawed and ambiguous & their retrospective spin can’t change that.
 

Themurph

Registered User
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It's a strange thing to not have a little faith in the powers that be but the fact I've been told by them no way your definitely not impacked since 2010 , I would be relieved if we are but the stress since has made me very bitter towards ebs and I would be so angry also, when I ever fell behind in payments the flood of calls even on weekends was and is still unreal ,fingers crossed.
 

B26354

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280
It's a strange thing to not have a little faith in the powers that be but the fact I've been told by them no way your definitely not impacked since 2010 , I would be relieved if we are but the stress since has made me very bitter towards ebs and I would be so angry also, when I ever fell behind in payments the flood of calls even on weekends was and is still unreal ,fingers crossed.
This ombudsman will do a proper investigation & ask the right questions. His comments today suggest banks had previously taken the office as being a soft touch and believed it would usually side with the bank whatever the evidence in favour of the customer. I don’t think that’s the case now.
 

POTWS2005

New Member
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3
Did anyone else get the final response from EBS in relation to the complaint logged last year for the definitions of the Variable Base Rate?
They state "we confirm that there is no difference between the Variable Base Rate and the Standard Variable rate. Both terms were used to describe the Bank's variable interest rate product."
"The Variable Base Rate did not and does not follow the ECB rate and was never contractually linked, or otherwise stated to be linked,to the ECB rate".
They acknowledge that for a period of time between 2005 and April 2008, a number of months between August 2008 and May 2009 and in the months of August 2011 and December 2011 the bank did adjust the Variable Base Rate when the ECB rate moved. ....the Bank has the discretion to change the VBR while the changes in the ECB rate are driven by the ECB. they enclosed a copy of the booklet they say was issued with the loan documentation quoting condition 2 but there is still no definition of the Variable Base Rate provided by them in their final response. They now consider it closed and advise the complaint may be referred to the FSPO.
 

B26354

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Messages
280
Did anyone else get the final response from EBS in relation to the complaint logged last year for the definitions of the Variable Base Rate?
They state "we confirm that there is no difference between the Variable Base Rate and the Standard Variable rate. Both terms were used to describe the Bank's variable interest rate product."
"The Variable Base Rate did not and does not follow the ECB rate and was never contractually linked, or otherwise stated to be linked,to the ECB rate".
They acknowledge that for a period of time between 2005 and April 2008, a number of months between August 2008 and May 2009 and in the months of August 2011 and December 2011 the bank did adjust the Variable Base Rate when the ECB rate moved. ....the Bank has the discretion to change the VBR while the changes in the ECB rate are driven by the ECB. they enclosed a copy of the booklet they say was issued with the loan documentation quoting condition 2 but there is still no definition of the Variable Base Rate provided by them in their final response. They now consider it closed and advise the complaint may be referred to the FSPO.
EBS will likely admit there was no definition of the variable base rate in any loan documentation nor any mention of a standard variable rate in the variable base rate contracts. Furthermore there is no mention of EBS adjusting the rate at their own discretion in the variable base rate contracts.
 
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Themurph

Registered User
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16
Yes I got the same answer from them, and to tell me they now consider the matter closed and that it was their final response to me about it.
 

B26354

Frequent Poster
Messages
280
Did anyone else get the final response from EBS in relation to the complaint logged last year for the definitions of the Variable Base Rate?
They state "we confirm that there is no difference between the Variable Base Rate and the Standard Variable rate. Both terms were used to describe the Bank's variable interest rate product."
"The Variable Base Rate did not and does not follow the ECB rate and was never contractually linked, or otherwise stated to be linked,to the ECB rate".
They acknowledge that for a period of time between 2005 and April 2008, a number of months between August 2008 and May 2009 and in the months of August 2011 and December 2011 the bank did adjust the Variable Base Rate when the ECB rate moved. ....the Bank has the discretion to change the VBR while the changes in the ECB rate are driven by the ECB. they enclosed a copy of the booklet they say was issued with the loan documentation quoting condition 2 but there is still no definition of the Variable Base Rate provided by them in their final response. They now consider it closed and advise the complaint may be referred to the FSPO.
I’ve attached the EBS rate change documents sent to variable base customers between 2004 and 2008. The variable base rate followed the ECB base rate from 2004-2008 with a +1.25% margin. Illustration sheets sent to customers via brokers confirmed this margin in the variable base rate. For EBS to retrospectively claim that the variable base rate is an SVR is delusional. All of the evidence confirms the variable base rate is a tracker rate and at the very least the variable base rate term & contracts are fundamentally ambiguous & not clear & transparent.
 

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B26354

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Hello all, I am a long time follower of this forum and am in a similar situation.
Please see below link to EBS current website showing the disadvantages of a variable rate. They still refer to the ECB as a Base rate.
https://www.ebs.ie/mortgages/home-loan-rates-advantages-and-disadvantages . How can they still insist that the Variable Base rate that they referred to in our documentation was not a tracker?
The variable base rate is a fundamentally faulty product and a product that was probably mis sold by EBS agents. I’ve no doubt that at the time some agents/brokers/branch managers thought they were selling the VBR as an SVR (see Stowes case for example) or the VBR as a tracker but whatever the case the documentation at the time confirms the VBR to be a rate that is linked to the ECB base rate + margin of 1.25%.

To further muddy the waters in September 2006 the EBS defined their “Standard Variable Rate” as “A mortgage rate which can rise and fall in line with the interest rate changes set by the European Central Bank (ECB)”. You can see how this definition is different to how they define their SVR now. I know that lots of banks SVR’s were linked to the ECB base rate at the time but those SVR contracts didn’t refer to a base rate in their contracts so they could move the rate up & down at their own discretion independent of changes to the ECB base rate. EBS only started doing this to VBR customers in May 2008 but failed to inform said customers that their rate was now not linked to the ECB base rate anymore.

Remember there was a a poster on this forum called Trackman who had a variable base contract & has since been redressed because he had completed a tracker application form. As the product is so faulty i’m sure there are lots of anomalies like this & inconsistencies in terms of its application at account level & now with this tracker debacle & redress. To cover their tracks EBS are now clumsily trying to retrospectively define what a variable base rate & SVR are in spite of the documentation that exists from the 2004-2008.

Perhaps there was no true SVR sold by EBS between 2004-2008 & all of their so called SVR’s are actually VBR’s and therefore trackers? Only EBS know this but they are fighting it in a way that suggests they may have to redress a lot of customers.
 
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paulo1000

New Member
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4
I've been receiving letters in the post every month for nearly a year now saying the EBS are looking into this and that they are making progress.
I'm going to ask for a final response letter so I can make a complaint to the financial ombudsman.
 
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