EBS knows that it has responsibility to its customers. So we’re conducting a comprehensive review of customer mortgage accounts with regard to tracker rates, and similar rates such as the EBS 'Buy to Let' rate (a variable rate where the maximum rate cannot be more than 1.5% over the European Central Bank (ECB) rate). This review is part of an industry-wide investigation, required by the Central Bank of Ireland.
Our review, which is still ongoing, has found we fell short on our obligations to some customers. This includes instances where we were not clear with them or where we failed to honour contractual commitments. This resulted in some customers being charged too high a rate of interest on their mortgage accounts. We have started on the road to correcting these impacted customers’ accounts, as set out in the steps below.
Have a question about our review? Don’t hesitate to get in touch. We have put in place a customer Freephone Helpline – 1800 235 461 (Mon-Fri, 8:00am-7:00pm) to assist with any queries our customers may have.
Message from Group CEO Bernard Byrne
The Steps Involved in EBS’ Tracker Mortgage Review
I Have a Tracker Review Query: FAQ
Have a tracker mortgage query? We have created a list of common questions for our tracker mortgage customers, which we hope will help shed some light on this review.
1. How do I know if this review affects me?
If your mortgage account falls into one of the below categories, it may have been impacted:
(i) You were on a tracker interest rate or the 'Buy to Let' rate and then moved to a different rate, for example a Standard Variable Rate (SVR) or Fixed Rate
(ii) You were on a tracker interest rate and your margin increased.
• Don’t worry – if your account has been affected, we will write to you to confirm this.
• Customers who have remained on their correct tracker rate margin are not affected.
• Earlier in 2016 we commenced writing to impacted customers and we will continue to do so during 2017 until the review is complete.
2. I received a letter. What happens next?
• For impacted accounts which are currently on the wrong rate you will first receive a letter to inform you that the account was impacted and to correct the interest rate on your affected mortgage account. This step was completed in August 2016 for impacted customers identified to date.
• As the programme continues impacted customers will have their accounts corrected and will receive a letter to provide them with redress and compensation. By redress we mean refunding customers who overpaid interest and correcting their mortgage balances and we will also pay compensation. At that point, a set payment towards the cost of independent professional advice will also be paid to customers, along with details of how to appeal through an independent appeals process. This letter will also contain a financial summary detailing how we have calculated redress and compensation. We have now commenced this step for impacted customers identified to date.
3. I received a redress and compensation letter. What can I do with my cheque?
• Lodging your cheque covering redress, compensation and the independent professional advice payment will not affect your right to make an appeal, to make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman or pursue this matter through the Courts. Also, there is no requirement for you to apply any of your redress and compensation payment amount against your mortgage.
4. Why did I receive a payment instruction form instead of a cheque?
• This form is most frequently required when there are multiple parties to the loan living at different addresses. We need this form to instruct us as to how the cheque should be made payable.
5. Personal representatives of deceased borrowers
• Where we are aware of the personal representative of a deceased borrower we have also sent them a redress and compensation letter along with a payment instruction form. Click here for more about the identification documents personal representatives will need to furnish to the bank before the cheque will issue to them.
6. I am appointing a third party advisor to assist me. Can I give you permission to deal with this advisor on my behalf?
• Yes. We will need you to confirm in writing (through the approved “Third Party Advisor” form) that we can liaise with the Advisor in relation to the Tracker Mortgage Review. You can find this form here or you can contact our helpline to request the form.
7. Do I have the right to appeal the redress and compensation?
• Yes – you do have the right to appeal the actions we have taken to correct our failure. Read the common queries related to appeal below.
(i) What can I appeal?
You can appeal any aspect of redress and compensation within 12 months from the date on your letter in which the Bank made its offer of redress and compensation. Decisions made by EBS on the level of redress and compensation due to customers have been based on the information available to us in our review of impacted accounts. As part of the appeals process you can include any additional material financial information which you would like to have considered.
(ii) Who will hear my appeal?
All appeals will be heard by a fully independent appeals panel in accordance with the Terms of Reference and Procedural Rules of the appeals panel. For more details on the panel membership click here.
(iii) How do I begin an appeal?
Customers who have received a redress and compensation letter can request an appeals application pack. To request an appeals application pack, please contact the helpline number provided in your letter. This pack will give you more details about the overall appeals process. Customers who decide to appeal will need to complete the appeal application pack and return it (together with any supporting documents relevant to their appeal) to the address set out in the form.
(iv) What if I have a question about the letter I receive?
We have a team who are available to help you. Please talk to our helpline using the contact details contained if your letter.
(v) What if I do not receive a letter or if I have a question about the letter I receive?
We wrote to customers identified as ‘impacted’ by the review in November, advising that the bank will commence refunding customers who overpaid interest during the coming months and will also pay compensation (this redress process commences in December 2016). As the review is still ongoing, there may be other accounts identified as ‘impacted’ as part of the review and these customers will be written to in due course.
• If you do not receive a letter from us and have reason to believe your account may be affected, or if you have a question, please call our Freephone Helpline 1800 235 461 Monday-Friday 8am-7pm, or talk to us in your local EBS office.
(i) When will EBS complete the review?
• We are deeply conscious of the necessity to conclude this review as quickly as possible for our customers. However, given the complexity of the process, the overall review will take a number of months to complete.