Tracker Mortgage Decision Reference 2023-0076

Case OutcomeRejected
Subject MatterTracker Mortgage
Date30 March 2023
Finantial SectorBanking
Conducts Complained OfFailure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of the mortgage
Decision Ref:
Product / Service:
Tracker Mortgage
Conduct(s) complained of:
Failure to offer a tracker rate throughout the life of
the mortgage
The complaint relates to a mortgage loan account held by the Complainants with the
Provider. The mortgage loan that is the subject of this complaint was secured on the
Complainants’ residential investment property.
The loan amount was €176,000.00 and the term of the loan was 25 years. The Letter of
Approval dated 03 November 2008 provided that the loan type was a “variable rate
interest only residential investment loan” and that the interest rate applicable was 5.4%.
The mortgage loan was drawn down on 19 November 2008.
The Complainants’ Case
The Complainants state that in 2008 they “had to separate out a mortgage that was
covering five properties in total that [they] either separately owned or shared ownership.
The Complainants submit that their “Jumbo mortgage” was offered to them at ECB + 0.6%
as “existing customers” and, as such, they “were enticed to keep [their] business with the
then Branch Manager”.
The Complainants submit the Provider confirmed to them that it would offer them a
tracker mortgage if they “continued to keep [their] business” with the Provider.
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The Complainants state that the branch manager “was very keen to entice [them] to keep
[their] business with [the Provider] in 2008 and [the branch manager] verbally confirmed
that [they] could keep tracker mortgage rate(s) and transfer them to the new mortgage.
The Complainants outline that “without practically any warning” they “were informed that
[the Provider] would no longer honour the tracker rate” which had been agreed. The
Complainants contend that “someone took the decision to renege on the tracker mortgage
offer”. The Complainants maintain that they “strongly believe that [the Provider] acted in
bad faith and took advantage of a very stressful situation”, which forced them to “pay a
higher rate than what was agreed.
The Complainants explain that as they were in the process of separating, they “felt like
[they] had no choice but to go with what was offered.” The Complainants assert that they
were “very stressed”, and they never received any letter of warning that the tracker
interest rates were being withdrawn.
The Complainants note the Provider’s submissions that it had withdrawn tracker rates
generally” in mid-2008, however the Complainants submit that the Provider was still
offering tracker rate mortgages to existing customers in that period.
The Complainants refute the Provider’s assertions that their broker requested a variable
interest rate on their behalf. The Complainants assert that the tracker interest rate was
withdrawn “unilaterally” by the Provider, and they were “forced to choose a variable rate
mortgage”. The Complainants submit that it is a “complete misrepresentation” that their
broker asked for a variable interest rate over a tracker interest rate and state that their
broker was “back and forth” with the Provider on many occasions attempting to get the
tracker interest rate reinstated. The Complainants submit that it made “no sense” that
they would choose a variable interest rate of 5.9%, rather than a tracker interest rate of
The Complainants submit that they were “trying [their] utmost to complete the 17 Special
Conditions as per Letter of Approval” and they understood that most offers expire after 6
months or a year. The Complainants submit that when they “finally did find out about the
withdrawal of the tracker, [they] could not complete in time the Special Conditions”. The
Complainants rely on Provision 13 of the Consumer Protection Code 2006 in that regard.
The Complainants submit that the Provider did not “act fairly or provide notice to [them]
that the tracker rate as originally offered was being removed as an option on this
property.” The Complainants note that the Provider is supposed to “act in the best
interests of the customer” under the Consumer Protection Code.

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