Statement from Bank of Ireland Group – Conclusion of Central Bank of Ireland Enforcement Investigation on Tracker Mortgages
29th September 2022: Bank of Ireland Group has apologised to customers for a wide range of failures in relation to the tracker mortgage issue. This includes an apology for the failures which led to customer harm and detriment, and for the length of time it took to recognise and resolve the issues which added to customer distress.
Gavin Kelly, Interim Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland Group said:
“Today’s statement from the Central Bank of Ireland is extremely critical of Bank of Ireland. We understand – and fully accept – why this is. What took place in relation to tracker mortgages was wrong. It should never have happened. We are very sorry that it did.
“We unreservedly apologise to all customers harmed by the tracker mortgage issue. The impacts were significant and wide reaching, up to and including loss of homes in the most serious of cases.
“Banking is based on trust, but our failures damaged that trust. We have learned the hard lessons, and have taken steps to ensure we are a more customer-focused bank today. This work continues. Rebuilding the confidence of both our customers and the wider society we serve will take time, but we are committed to that journey.”
Bank of Ireland has admitted in full to 81 separate regulatory breaches. This includes the provision of unclear contractual documents to its customers, the failure to interpret these unclear documents in customers’ best interests, unfair complaints handling, deficient mortgage systems and controls, and wrongful exclusion of customers from the protections of the Tracker Mortgage Examination.
To address these serious failures, the Bank has taken a number of steps. As a priority, the Bank has invested significantly in building a more open, transparent, and customer-focused culture across all of its businesses. This is critically important work, and the Bank is committed to doing more to continually improve culture over the years ahead.
The Bank has also put in place enhanced governance processes for the introduction, amendment or withdrawal of products and services – and the management of complaints – to ensure customer rights and protections are fully considered. In addition, mortgage documents have been reviewed to ensure they are clear and transparent.
The Tracker Mortgage Examination
The Tracker Mortgage Examination commenced in December 2015. The Examination required all lenders to review their loan book to ensure compliance with both regulatory and contractual requirements in relation to tracker mortgages.
The Examination has now concluded
Bank of Ireland has now concluded its review of tracker issues, in line with the principles outlined by the Central Bank.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Our team will help you with any questions you might have, please contact us at 0818 200 382 or you can write to us at Bank of Ireland Tracker Mortgage Examination, PO Box 400, Tralee, Co Kerry.
- Was my account included in the examination?
All mortgage accounts were reviewed as part of the examination, including closed accounts.
If we identified a tracker issue that affected your account, you would have already received a letter which describes the issue identified and includes detail of the redress and compensation.
- I received an offer of Redress and Compensation and I’m unsure what to do now
Payment of redress and compensation
Complete and return the Payment instruction form so we can arrange payment for you, in the self-addressed FREEPOST envelope which we included with our letter to you.
This will not affect your right to appeal our offer of redress and compensation or your right to make a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman or take legal action against us.
Making an appeal
We set up an independent appeals process which you can use if you are dissatisfied with any element of our offer of redress and compensation. You have 12 months from the date of our letter during which you can make an appeal.
To make an appeal, you can request an appeals pack. The pack contains further details on the appeals process and procedures along with a guide outlining what you need to provide in order to submit your appeal and details of where to send it. To get one of these packs, please contact the Independent Secretariat at either 1800 818 797 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I am not satisfied with the outcome of the Examination. What can I do about this?
If you are not satisfied with any aspect of our offer of redress and compensation, you can*:
- Request an Appeals Application Pack from the Independent Secretariat
- Submit a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman OR issue proceedings against the Bank
*Please Note: receiving the payment due to you in no way affects your ability to make an appeal to the Independent Appeals Panels, or either submit a complaint to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman or issue legal proceedings against the Bank.
- I want to appoint a third party to deal with this on my behalf
That’s no problem. We will need your written authority to engage with your chosen representative in regard to your accounts. Our team can help you with this, our contact details are 0818 200 382 or you can write to us at Bank of Ireland Tracker Mortgage Examination, PO Box 400, Tralee, Co Kerry.
- What if I or someone I know needs some extra help?
If you have any questions or need more information about what we’re saying or asking you to do, please let us know. For example, you may need this information in a different language or format (e.g. audio, braille, large text), you may have been impacted by a recent life event or you may have an accessibility impairment. Our staff have lots of experience serving customers with various needs and we’d be delighted to help you so why not call us on 0818 200 382
- What do I need to know about the recent ECB rate increases?
The European Central Bank (ECB) has recently put up interest rates. Tracker mortgage rates follow or ‘track’ the ECB interest rate.
Tracker mortgages are a type of variable interest rate home loan. They follow or ‘track’ interest rate changes made by the European Central Bank (ECB). So, when the ECB makes a change to its rates, your tracker mortgage rate changes.
The ECB is putting up rates to help reduce inflation. The ECB has indicated that there might be more rate rises. We will always let you know in advance, if an increase is coming.
If you change your tracker mortgage to a fixed or variable rate mortgage, you will not be able to get a tracker rate in the future. So, it is really important that you think things through and make an informed decision. Keep in mind that while tracker rates are increasing now, other types of mortgage may also go up. You can read more about our interest rates and mortgages on bankofireland.com/mortgages.
- I’m worried about meeting my mortgage repayments, and would like to speak with someone
We are here to help. Ask at your local branch about speaking with one of our mortgage specialists who will be able discuss any concerns you may have with meeting your mortgage repayments.
The earlier we know about any concern you may have, the sooner we can work together to quickly identify the best solution to get you back in control of your finances.
If you have already fallen into arrears then we would ask you to call our dedicated Home Mortgage Line on 01 488 3046