Tracker Mortgage Decision Reference 2022-0305

Case OutcomeRejected
Subject MatterTracker Mortgage
Reference2022-0305
Date31 August 2022
Finantial SectorBanking
Conducts Complained OfFailure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of the mortgage
Decision Ref:
2022-0305
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
Background
This complaint relates to a mortgage loan account held by the Complainants with the
Provider. The mortgage loan which is the subject of this complaint is secured on the
Complainants’ principal private residence.
The loan amount was €355,000.00 and the term of the loan was 25 years. The Letter of
Offer dated 02 November 2005 provided that the interest rate applicable to the loan was a
fixed interest rate of 3.45% for the first 24 months of the loan.
The Complainants’ Case
The Complainants submit that they drew down their mortgage loan with the Provider in
December 2005 on a two-year fixed interest rate, which would roll to the “Lenders
Prevailing variable rate on expiry” of the fixed rate period.
The Complainants submit that they received a notification from the Provider in November
2007 stating that the fixed interest rate was expiring, and that they were being moved to a
standard variable interest rate. The Complainants maintain that they “should have been
offered a Tracker rate” instead of the standard variable interest rate.
- 2 -
/Cont’d…
The Complainants state that they requested a tracker interest rate during a telephone call
with the Provider on 16 November 2007 but were “refused”. The Complainants submit
that because they were not offered a tracker interest rate, they enquired about various
fixed rate options and “agreed to go onto the best rate offered which was the 1 year fixed”.
The Complainants contend that the note of the telephone call on 16 November 2007
submitted into evidence by the Provider is “inadequate”.
The Complainants submit that the “Lenders prevailing variable rate is not defined” in their
mortgage loan documentation and it does not reference the standard variable rate. The
Complainants submit that, according to Central Bank of Ireland statistics, “the Prevailing
Variable rate with Irish banks during 2006-2008 was the Tracker rate” and therefore a
tracker interest rate should have been applied to their mortgage loan account. The
Complainants outline that they have not seen any legal documentation to support the
Provider’s assertion that the prevailing variable rate was in fact the standard variable rate.
The Complainants also maintain that “[they] should [have] had a Tracker when [their] Fixed
Rate period ended” in December 2007 because a flyer communication that issued from the
Provider to brokers in November 2006, provided “that all fixed rates will roll onto Tracker
rates”. The Complainants assert that the flyer “did not apply to new business only” and
instead “applied to existing business as well as new business but was primarily directed
towards existing business.”
The Complainants submit that the Provider’s Mortgage Handbook “clearly states that Fixed
rate customers can choose between Fixed, Variable and Tracker [rates] at the end of the
Fixed Rate period.” The Complainants state that the 2007 Mortgage Handbook should be
treated the same as the flyer communication which provided a “specific guarantee” of a
tracker interest rate. The Complainants contend that the tracker switching product as
outlined in the Provider’s 2006 Financial Statement is the same product as outlined in the
flyer and that this further supports their position that the Provider should have offered
them a tracker interest rate.
Moreover, the Complainants assert that the Provider failed to act in accordance with the
Consumer Protection Code as the Provider is “a regulated entity” which “must ensure that
in all its dealings with customers are within the context of its authorisation.”
The Complainants are seeking the following:
(a) That a tracker interest rate be applied to their mortgage loan account,
(b) A refund of any interest overpaid from December 2007 to present; and
(c) Compensation due to the “financial loss” incurred by the Complainants.

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