Ulster Bank hit with record €38 million fine over tracker mortgage scandal
The Central Bank of Ireland has just announced it has fined Ulster Bank Ireland a record €38 million fine over failings in dealing with close to 6,000 tracker mortgage customers.
The €37,774,520 fine is a record for a financial institution in Ireland and is in response to the bank’s failings in dealing with, and the impact upon their customers over a 16 year period from 2004 to April of 2020.
In the statement just issued by the Central Bank they explain: “The Central Bank of Ireland (the “Central Bank”) reprimanded and fined Ulster Bank Ireland DAC (”UBID” or the “Firm”) €37,774,520 pursuant to its Administrative Sanctions Procedure (“ASP”) in respect of UBID’s serious failings in the treatment of its tracker customers holding 5,940 mortgage accounts between August 2004 and April 2020.
“The Central Bank’s investigation found that UBID breached its regulatory obligations towards its impacted tracker customers, most notably those under the Consumer Protection Codes 2006 and 2012.
“UBID has admitted in full to 49 separate regulatory breaches.
“Our investigation identified the numerous opportunities that UBID had to do right by its customers and the efforts that UBID went to in order to evade its obligations to these customers,” The Central Bank statement said.
The Central Bank found 34 regulatory breaches that Ulster Bank admitted to in relation to its failure to warn customers about the consequences of decisions they might make relating to their mortgage.
Ulster Bank admitted that in all of its dealings with customers, it failed to make full disclosure of all relevant material information in a way that sought to inform the customer; it failed to ensure that all information it provided to its customers was clear and comprehensible; it failed to ensure that contracts were drafted in plain, intelligible language; it failed to act with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of its customers; and it failed to have or effectively employ adequate resources, policies and procedures, systems and controls.
The fine and enforcement against Ulster Bank is the third and last of a series of ongoing investigations arising from the Central Bank’s tracker mortgage examinations.