A whopping €647 million has been paid back to bank customers on foot of the Central Bank’s tracker mortgage scandal probe.
The regulator said today that its investigation reveals “unacceptable damage that misconduct can cause to consumers, “up to and including the loss of their homes and properties in some cases”.
The Central Bank has reiterated its strategic commitment to “elevate the regulation of the behaviour of firms and the operation of financial markets” in order to protect consumers.
The regulator says it will evolve its supervisory system to make wrongdoers more accountable.
Bank staff must ‘up their game’ with clearer lines of command, more probity, and a unified enforcement process under a new Individual Accountability Framework.
The €647 million paid out by year-end 2018 represents an increase of €67 million since August.
The number of affected customers stood at 39,800 at year-end – an increase of 1,400 since August.
And 97% of affected customers had their compensation paid and cases closed by year-end.
Derville Rowland, pictured above, (director general of financial conduct in the Central Bank) said today: “The extensive, intrusive and complex work we’ve undertaken throughout the examination has always been about ensuring that lenders identify, redress and compensate affected customers for the wrong which they caused.
“As the supervisory phase of the examination is nearing completion, we will continue robustly to challenge the work lenders are doing in identifying, redressing and compensating those customers affected.”
The Central Bank began its probe in 2015 after it became clear that tracker-related issues were, potentially, industry-wide.
The probe is the largest and most complex supervisory review that the organisation has undertaken to date in respect of its consumer protection mandate.
A total of 15 lenders were contacted throughout the swoop.