Why has the Central Bank not forced the banks to give back trackers to some cohorts?


Frequent Poster
I have copied this from a thread on ptsb, but it applies to all banks. I think it's a very good explanation of the powers of the Central Bank and of their limitations - Brendan

Just to be clear, I don't think the CBI 'signed off' PTSB as it were.
1. CBI claimed that despite all the legislation that they did not have the powers to force at bank to restore trackers prior to 2013.
2. CBI therefore presented cohorts of similar fact cases to each and every Bank.
3. Some were so shockingly obvious that they were agreed fairly quickly.
4. Others were argued at length and eventually some Banks decided that based on some measure of fairness, they conceded.
5. Others dug their heels in and PTSB is one of these. Despite the various arguments on Discounted Tracker that should have killed PTSB stone dead, they simply resisted and to use barrack room slang it was 'foxtrot oscar' to CBI.
6. But this possibility was well flagged by CBI already.
7. Why are we surprised with the judicial criticism in many cases ad nauseam where several judges made excoriating criticism of PTSB.
8. PTSB obviously believe that none of you will fess up and allow Mr Kissane (for it is he who seems to have most knowledge on this) to give them a severe bloody nose.
9. The other issue that emerges from this is that compared to UK when they implemented Unfair Terms in Contract, it was simply this in the UK Supreme Court "...my conclusion that the non-disclosure of the amount of the commissions made Paragon's relationship with Mrs Plevin unfair is enough to justify the reopening of the transaction.." and that was PPI in the bin.
10. So what we should be saying to PTSB "..well punk, do you feel lucky?.."
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Brendan Burgess

This is a very good summary of the Central Bank's approach and so is worth highlighting.

The Central Bank is not, and should not, be the final arbiter of whether a bank should give someone a tracker.

So the bank managed to push the banks on the more obvious cases.

I am guessing that there were other cases where the Central Bank wanted the banks to redress people and the banks refused.

And, of course, there are cases where the Central Bank fully agreed with the lender that the borrowers had no case.

And then you have the very odd one of the AIB Prevailing Rate cohort.

Many people believed that these had no case at all. AIB strongly asserted that they had done nothing wrong and even if they had, well the borrowers didn't lose out as the prevailing rate would have been higher than the SVR. I don't know where the Central Bank stands on this, but, at the Oireachtas Finance Committee, Governor Lane seemed to agree with some aspects of AIB's argument. I don't think he should have done this without listening to the customers' arguments first. But the key point is that the Central Bank persuaded AIB that they were wrong in not giving the option to the borrowers, and now all 6,000 impacted customers have the right to appeal to the Ombudsman and the High Court. Without the Central Bank's involvement, AIB would have done nothing and it would have been up to the borrowers to try to convince the Ombudsman and the Central Bank that they were not time-barred. And, of course, the 6,000 customers would not have been notified that there was an issue.

And that is how it should be - that the Ombudsman and High Court, and not the Central Bank, should decide these cases.

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Brendan Burgess

Please answer this question - what is the maximum sanction that the CB can apply for breaching the CPC?
Not sure. I used to know this but it has become very complicated. They fined ptsb €30m and then gave them a discount for the tracker mortgage issue.

I don't see how it's relevant. If the bank says "We did not break the CPC in this case" there isn't much that the CBI can practically do. They can hold a sanctions enquiry but look at what is happening in the INBS case, the only one where someone has not agreed to the sanction.