Tracker Mortgage Decision Reference 2021-0282

Case OutcomeRejected
Subject MatterTracker Mortgage
Date20 August 2021
Conducts Complained OfFailure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of the mortgage,Delayed or inadequate communication, Dissatisfaction with customer service
Finantial SectorBanking
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Tracker Mortgage
Conduct(s) complained of:
Failure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of
the mortgage
Delayed or inadequate communication
Dissatisfaction with customer service
This complaint relates to a mortgage loan account held by the Complainant with the
Provider. The mortgage loan that is the subject of this complaint was secured on the
Complainant’s private dwelling home.
The loan amount was €305,000 and the term of the loan is 35 years. The Letter of
Approval dated 21 August 2006 detailed that the loan type was “3 Year Fixed Rate Home
The Complainant’s Case
The Complainant states that during the application period for his mortgage loan in 2006
the Provider “did not furnish me with full information or options in relation to all mortgage
products or interest rates available at the time that I took out my mortgage”. He further
submits that he “was not aware of the tracker mortgage product” and that “nobody
explained to me what type of product this was”.
The Complainant states that he availed of the services of a mortgage broker “which is no
longer in existence”. He submits that “I raised my inquiries with [the broker] … which
demonstrates my attempts to obtain the relevant information.”
- 2 -
The Complainant submits that the Broker informed him that when “you get a discount
variable you can switch to a tracker variable or any of the fixed rates”.
The Complainant submits the correspondence he received from the Provider in 2006 “does
not evidence anywhere that [the Provider] clearly outlined all the mortgage products or
rates available”. He contends that on that basis the Provider “did not observe the relevant
regulatory/transparency requirements as they existed at that time”.
The Complainant submits he was “initially offered a 1 year fixed rate loan which I then
changed to a three year fixed rate option until 2009”. The initial interest rate applicable to
the Complainant’s mortgage loan was a three-year fixed interest rate of 4.69%.
The Complainant submits that the initial three-year fixed rate term expired in September
2009 and the Provider sent him a letter on 4 September 2009 outlining the available
interest rate options. He states that the interest rate options outlined in the letter were so
“exorbitant” that he did not select any of the options provided in this letter, which resulted
in his mortgage loan account defaulting to a “penal” tracker mortgage rate of ECB + 3.25%
at the end of the fixed interest rate period. He states that “this additional margin was
never explained to me, nor has this margin substantially changed during the lifetime of my
mortgage”. The Complainant states he is “still paying way and above the rate on the other
mortgages linked to the ECB” and that consequently he is paying “a much higher rate than
the average tracker mortgage rate”.
The Complainant submits by 2013 he had fallen into arrears on his mortgage payments
due to “substantial reductions in my salary due to the public sector pay cuts and a
significant reduction in amount of mortgage interest relief” he was receiving.
The Complainant submits on 13 March 2013 he hand-delivered a completed Standard
Financial Statement (SFS) to a branch of the Provider. He submits that he received no
response, and in subsequent telephone calls to the Provider, he was informed that the
Provider’s Arrears Support Unit did not receive the document and that he had to re-submit
the SFS. The Complainant states that he re-submitted the SFS to the Provider’s branch and
met with the branch manager “who was very apathetic in his dealings with me”. The
Complainant submits that this was “a constant experience for me in my dealings with the
Provider] and in general there was a lack of communication between the different
departments there and an un-coordinated approach”.
- 3 -
The Complainant submits that he wrote a letter to the Provider dated 1 July 2013
“highlighting my inability to make the level of repayments being demanded”. He states
that his “appeal was filed in July and the appeals unit upheld the decision to refuse my
request for restructuring.”
He details that the Provider then offered him a “part capital part interest arrangement” on
10 September 2013. He details that he “filed a letter of appeal” on 24 September 2013.
The Complainant submits that in his appeal he raised concerns relating to the “large
balloon payment totalling €149,770.57 that would be payable at the end of the mortgage
terms, at which point I would be aged 67”. He states that the Provider’s response to this
was that “this was calculated based on current interest rates and repayments”. The
Complainant submits he did not accept the part capital part interest rate arrangement and
instead “endeavoured to clear my arrears”.
The Complainant submits that the Provider sent him a letter dated 5 February 2014
“looking for lodgement of an alternative signed re-structuring agreement stating that the
deadline for the submission of same was overdue and that if I did not communicate with
them any further on this option that they would conclude that I had decided not to enter
into the alternative repayment arrangement”. He further submits that the letter stated
that “I was now outside the Mortgage Arrears Resolutions Process (MARP) and that I was
required to pay the outstanding arrears”.
The Complainant submits that he replied to this letter dated 13 February 2014 referencing
his previous attempts “to engage with the bank on this issue and the lack of explanation as
to why my request for a restructured mortgage was turned down”. He states that he asked
the Provider to investigate “the initial requests made by me and my subsequent complaints
made, including the miscalculation of my superannuation contributions as part of my
disposable income; my complaint in relation to the bank’s flat refusal to my request, and
my appeals made. There was no detailed response to my appeal, instead there was a
constant lack of engagement from the bank”.
The Complainant submits that he received letters from the Provider dated 20 February
2014 and 13 March 2014 stated that it was investigating these issues and would be in
touch. He states that “in the meantime, the interest rate heretofore mentioned was still
being applied to my mortgage payments”.

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