Regulator defends pace of mortgage inquiry

And they give out about the pace of Investigations in Garda Siochana. Get off the fence!!!!!!! See article by Conor Pope

Central Bank governor says investigation largest and most complex yet undertaken

Prof Lane defended the pace of the investigation and said the Central Bank’s approach had been to consistently “push the banks to do the right thing”.

He told the Oireachtas finance committee he expected the number of mortgage holders caught up in the scandal to rise above the roughly 20,000 they have already identified.

Prof Lane said that by the end of September lenders had identified about 13,000 affected accounts.

Sixty per cent of these are customers wrongly taken off trackers, with the remainder found to have been put on incorrect rates.

He said that while the Central Bank “does not have the statutory power to compel lenders to implement redress and compensation in respect of failures that occurred prior to August 1st, 2013, we have made our expectations very clear to lenders”.

Resolve

He added that the bank had some legal powers but suggested it was best to hold them “in reserve” for now. “Rather than get into a legal dispute which is going to take a long time to resolve, it is much better to persuade the banks on a voluntary basis to make a full, decent and upfront offer,” he said.

He accused some of the State’s lenders of not moving swiftly enough to deal with the scandal.

Failings

He expressed the view that “all lenders did not sufficiently recognise or address the scale of those unacceptable failings until Central Bank intervention. We have had to repeatedly challenge certain lenders and push to the limits of our powers in order to drive them to identify and remedy affected customers in an appropriate manner. This is a principal reason why the examination has required significant time to progress.”

He said he recognised “the hurt and damage the actions of lenders have caused for many borrowers” and said the bank was “pushing the limits of our powers to ensure affected customers are remedied appropriately”.

He highlighted where certain lenders fell “materially short of the Central Bank’s expectations” by “failing to offer compensation for certain impacted cohorts of customers” or making “unacceptably low” offers of compensation in other cases.

And he said some banks had offered “unacceptably low payments for independent advice” and failed “to acknowledge certain types of detriment sustained by customers, for compensation purposes, including customers that switched lenders as a result of being on the incorrect interest rate.”

Prof Lane said the Central Bank expected all relevant lenders “to have commenced redress and compensation by the end of 2017.”

He repeated concerns that two lenders “may have failed to identify populations of impacted customers or failed to recognise that certain groups of their customers have been affected by their failures”.

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