What is the legal status of the European Standardised Information Sheet


Registered User
The only weakness with the standardisation sheet is it says it is not legally binding (mine does I assume they all do). I would certainly use it as the first line of attack but we need additional arguments as well just in case...

The bank might be more receptive to an argument that proved we should get the rate applicable at the date we actually broke out of the fixed term because it would remove people like S2K from the picture and prevent additional floodgates opening for them. My understanding is that while the applicable rate in late 2008/early 2009 was not as low as the standardisation sheet it wouldn't be the worst and certainly a lot better than 3.3%
I have tried to find an answer to this online.

It seems that the argument people have where a rate was not specified in their mortgage agreement, is that the illustration in the ESIS shows a rate of, say, 1%.

But what is the status of this?

If the contract says that the rate will be the rate on offer to trackers when the fixed rate expires, it would seem to me that that would trump the ESIS.

The ESIS arises from a voluntary code of conduct.

But I just don't know. Is there any case law relating to the ESIS?

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Say you fixed in 2006 for one year when tracker rates were ECB + 1%.

If your fixed rate expired in 2008 when tracker rates were ECB + 2%, then you get the ECB + 2% and there can be little argument.

What happens if your rate expired when they no longer offered tracker rates? I suspect that they would have to invent a "fair" tracker rate for such customers. That is complicated. The tracker rate should be based on the SVR, I would expect. But then we know that ptsb charged 6.25% SVR when others charged 3%.

Very complicated, but I don't think you can claim the ECB +1% rate.


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Would this mean if u broke out early it goes from date u broke out or date it was due to expire?


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Hi all
Have to disagree with Brendan totally here as the reason European Standardisation Sheets were introduced was for the very reason being argued now, to reflect the cost of the loan over the term at the time the loan was issued.
REPEAT AT THE TIME THE LOAN WAS ISSUED. I Cannot accept that all loans issued without a tracker margin mentioned can now be accountable to what PTSB can decide is the appropriate margin. The increased margins mentioned at later dates were from Tracker loans being done at these dates. This I have covered in great detail in reports to Central Bank. Another matter to consider that if this was indeed to be the case (PTSB can pick whatever rate they choose) how come the rate has not changed once since it reached 3.25% above ECB. I just don't buy it and the reason why margins were left out was for an entirely different reason. Here is a sample of content in what I have written in reports re same which I hope helps people understand where the matter is being challenged

QUESTION: Where in the loan offer is it allowed that PTSB can increased the margin discussed at the outset of this loan by almost 180% as I am certain that this is not allowed for in the terms and conditions and for PTSB's benefit this is not an allegation either as the loan offer states;


Nowhere does it state

“ And Ptsb can increase the margin to whatever rate they choose at the expiry of the fixed rate period”

Because if this was included PTSB would not have done many mortgages especially when considering that their main market was Financial Brokers for the procurement of mortgage business.

If margins were at the whim of PTSB then these loans were never Tracker Mortgages as were understood when customers took the loans.
Hope this helps Padraic
Hi Padraic

So your argument is that if the illustration is based on a tracker of ECB +1%, then that rate should apply once the fixed rate is up.

"If Tracker Mortgage Rate is chosen... the rate applicable will the rate appropriate to the balance outstanding on the loan at the time of expiry of the fixed rate." That seems very clear to me.

I suppose you could argue that if the original tracker margin was 2% above 90% LTV and 1% below 90% LTV, that you might qualify for the 1% rate.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter too much what Brendan Burgess or Padraic Kissane thinks. It seems that the ptsb thinks that the tracker rates could be changed. The Ombudsman seems to agree with ptsb's interpretation.

We have to wait until we see how the Central Bank interprets this. I very much doubt that they will disagree with the ptsb and Ombudsman's interpretation.

Assuming that the Central Bank approves the ptsb interpretation, then those affected will have to take a case to the High Court. It would be interesting to see Senior Counsel's opinion on this one.

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Yes and importantly it is what PTSB stated to customers at issuing stage also

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Raging Bull

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Have a look at SI 853/2004 distance marketing regulations though ESIS is voluntary the terms of contract need to be clear there is plenty in this directive to assist with a legal challenge sections 6 and 20 in particular of some use

Raging Bull

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People should not get caught up in the ESIS courts won't recognise this...they have already looked at it and said so,....
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Hi Bull

I copied your post from another thread.

I assumed that the ESIS is not legally binding and would be interested in the case reference supporting this.



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I see on a cursory glance two issues for anyone trying to rely on this document as contractual :

A. Initial box, prior to point 1
It should be noted, however, that the figures

could fluctuate with market conditions.

B Box 14 Amortisation table

The lender should provide an illustrative and summarised ....

It should be clearly indicated that the table is illustrative only and contain a warning if the home loan proposed has a variable interest rate.

Sounds to me like this document is to help customers understand their mortgage offer but it is not contractual in the sense that what you actual sign, the contract, is what is important.

bank account
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Hi Bull

That is great thank. This really should put the ESIS argument to rest. Unless someone finds a contradictory High Court judgement?

Justice Hedigan in the case of Alan and Deirdre Grant and Irish Life and Permanent plc

4. The Ombudsman in a decision made on the 20th December ,2011 rejected the applicant's complaint. The grounds of the complaint may be summarised as follows:

(iv) The Ombudsman erred in his determination that the European standardised information sheet did not form part of the terms and conditions of the applicants' loans

The European standardised information sheet (ESIS)
7.3 This document arises from a European agreement on a voluntary code of conduct on pre-contractual information for home loans and is a standard form used by all of the banks in Ireland. It states explicitly that it does not constitute a legally binding offer and therefore is not part of the offer to the customer. In any event, the ESIS states that the monthly repayment comprises of interest only with repayment of principal deferred for the first three years of the term or such other periods as the lender will decide subject to the rights of the lender to review the deferral of therepayment of principal at any time. Consequently, on both counts the ESIS offers no
comfort to the applicants and no support for their complaint.
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Has anybody got the rate based on their ESIS example? No rate specified in my contract, broke Jan 2009, put on ECB + 2.25% based on fixed rate expiry date of April 2009.

Gerry Canning

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Can I suggest that everyone concerned with the rate they are being charged put in a SAR (subject access request) costs e6.50 .
From that you will get enough info to see what happened on your own account.
You are supposed to get the SAR within 40 days , but can take longer.

Wade through piece by piece on what you get and maybe you will be lucky!


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Can anyone provide an alternate link to Judge Hedigan's ruling referred to in post 15 please? (The link given no longer works!). I'm a bit confused by this bit in the subsequent post from Brendan?

(iv) The Ombudsman erred in his determination that the European standardised information sheet did not form part of the terms and conditions of the applicants' loans