Fixed Rate Decision Reference 2022-0092

Case OutcomeRejected
Subject MatterFixed Rate
Reference2022-0092
Date14 March 2022
Finantial SectorBanking
Conducts Complained OfRefusals (banking),Failure to provide accurate account/balance information
Decision Ref:
2022-0092
Sector:
Banking
Product / Service:
Fixed Rate
Conduct(s) complained of:
Refusals (banking)
Failure to provide accurate account/balance
information
Outcome:
Rejected
LEGALLY BINDING DECISION OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN
The complaint concerns a fixed rate mortgage account and the application of a breakage
fee which the Complainant alleges is inconsistent with the information given to him when
he originally made enquiries as to what fee would be applicable, should he decide to clear
the facility before the termination of the agreed five year fixed rate term.
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant submits that on 3 July 2018 he entered into a five year fixed rate
mortgage agreement with the Provider. The Complainant further submits that he phoned
the Provider on 23 July 2018 to enquire “What penalty I would pay if I chose to repay the
mortgage early, as I wanted to be sure it would not be an excessive fee”.
The Complainant states that he was informed that “breakage fee at that time would be
€257” and that rate was based on interbank interest rates and was subject to change. The
Complainant further states that he “considered his amount completely acceptable”.
The Complainant states that in June 2019 he sold his property and became subject to a
breakage fee when the facility was paid back before the expiry of the five year fixed rate
term set out in the terms and conditions of the loan. The Complainant further contends
that the breakage fee was calculated by the Provider as €6,368 (six thousand, three
hundred and sixty-eight euro) and that obviously I was completely shocked by this
because I couldn't understand how the breakage charge could have changed so drastically
in only 11 months”.
- 2 -
/Cont’d…
The Complainant submits that as far as “I could see, there had been no significant change
in the interest rates”.
The Complainant further submits that he made an official complaint to the Provider in
relation to the amount of the breakage fee and was subsequently informed that the
figures were correct and that they “will not be returning or reimbursing any of my
money”.
The Complainant contends that the Provider’s letter:
does not outline how it established the percentage for the figure for
the original cost of funds at data fixing’ of 0.22%:
states that the Euribid figure on 23 July 2019 was 0.20% and on 25 July 2019 it was
- 0.38%
The Complainant further contends that the deposit reference rate, Euribid, is derived from
the Euribid reference rate and that the value of the Euribid changes daily, as much as the
Euribor, and are therefore intrinsically linked. A detailed definition of the Euribid bid rate is
contained in this submission.
The Complainant states that he noted that the Euribid figure is not made widely available
and “would question why the Provider is using this secretive and hidden figure in the first
place”. The Complainant further contends that it looks like the Euribor rates remain almost
unchanged between the dates when he was quoted a breakage fee of €257 (two hundred
and fifty seven euro) and the date he redeemed his mortgage and was quoted €6,368 as a
breakage fee.
The Complainant states that he:
cannot understand how, and it would appear that the interbank interest
rates/Euribor/Euribid changed very little, Provider increased their quoted breakage
fee by nearly 2500%”.
The Complainant further states that he believes that the Provider is “lying about the rates
in an attempt to claw back the cash back they give me when I took out the Mortgage”.
The Complainant contends that “the central bank have stated that EU law dictates the
breakage fees must be fair and objective, justified, must not exceed the financial loss of the
creditor and must not impose a sanction on the consumer”. The Complainant further
contends that he is at a financial loss of €6,368 which he states I desperately need and
simply cannot afford to do without”.
The Complainant wants the Provider to refund him around €6,000 (six thousand euro) as
on 23 July 2018 he was quoted a breakage fee on his mortgage of €257 and on 25 June
2019 he was charged a breakage fee of €6,368 and therefore would expect to be
reimbursed somewhere in the region of €6,000 (six thousand euro).

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