Tracker Mortgage Decision Reference 2022-0148

Case OutcomeRejected
Reference2022-0148
Date22 April 2022
Year2022
Subject MatterTracker Mortgage
Finantial SectorBanking
Conducts Complained OfFailure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of the mortgage
Decision Ref:
2022-0148
Sector:
Banking
Product / Service:
Tracker Mortgage
Conduct(s) complained of:
Failure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of
the mortgage
Outcome:
Rejected
LEGALLY BINDING DECISION
OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES AND PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN
This complaint relates a mortgage loan account held by the Complainants with the
Provider. The mortgage loan account was secured on the Complainants’ buy-to-let (“BTL”)
property.
The mortgage loan amount was €170,000.00 and the term of the loan was 25 years. The
Mortgage Loan Offer Letter dated 14 December 2004 detailed the interest rate as a
tracker interest rate of ECB + 1.30%, which was subsequently reduced to ECB + 1.20% by
agreement with the Provider.
The Complainants’ Case
The Complainants detail that they had a mortgage loan account with the Provider which
was provided on a tracker basis at inception”.
The Complainants state that they entered into an Agreement to Amend Mortgage Loan
Offer Letter in June 2016 to amend the interest rate on the mortgage loan from a tracker
rate of ECB + 1.20% to a BTL variable interest rate of 2.20%. The Complainants state that
they felt that they “had no choice” but to sign the Agreement to Amend Mortgage Loan
Offer Letter dated 28 June 2016.
- 2 -
/Cont’d…
The Complainants question how it could be in their “best interests to remove a market
leading interest rate to a less favourable” and higher interest rate given it was evident that
they were experiencing “strained cash flow at that time”.
The Complainants are of the view that the Provider is “being disingenuous” and that the
only “rational explanation” to explain why the Complainants would execute a financial
agreement that is “clearly less favourable to their position” is that of “undue influence or
coercion (via enforcement threats).
The Complainants note that the Provider “neglects to outline that the Bank were
aggressively threatening the complainants with enforcement absent their consent.” The
Complainants detail that after the Agreement to Amend Mortgage Loan Offer Letter
issued, they were contacted by an agent of the Provider “and threatened that they had
only two options either sign the document immediately (today) or the Bank were going to
initiate enforcement and appoint a Receiver over the property.The Complainants refute
the Provider’s assertion that it was their choice to accept the offer. The Complainants state
that it is apparent that the Provider “undoubtedly exerted undue influence on them under
the then live threat of enforcement.” The Complainants submit that the Provider’s internal
notes of a telephone call on 21 June 2016 do not “relate in any way to the call received by
the complainants from [representative of Provider]”. The Complainants are of the view that
the person who recorded the telephone call on the Provider’s internal system is not the
same person who spoke to the Complainants on 21 June 2016. The Complainants note that
it is “convenient” that the telephone recording cannot be located by the Provider.
The Complainants assert that the Provider “has engaged in duplicitous tactics to remove a
loss making product favourable to customers by using their misfortune to entrap them into
executing amended agreements more favourable to the provider by way of structural
adjustments”.
The Complainants refute the Provider’s assertions that it complied with the provisions of
the Consumer Protection Code 2012 (CPC 2012) in circumstances where they maintain
that the Provider “aggressively” unduly influenced them.
The Complainants state that they are “dismayed” at the Provider’s response which “served
to only compound their frustration” by using “obfuscation and deception” to convince this
Office that the Provider complied with its obligations. The Complainants submit that the
Provider has attempted to present the Complainants as “irresponsible customers whom, by
their own choice, executed an agreement that was clearly less favourable to them.

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