Permanent TSB "sorry" for people who lost homes due to bank's mistake
Serious failures by Permanent TSB, one of Ireland's major banks, has led to people losing their homes, a damning investigation has revealed.
Permanent TSB, which was bailed out by taxpayers, has admitted "deeply regrettable" overcharging and wrongdoing on nearly 1,380 mortgage accounts.
It has set up a "major" redress and compensation scheme for its customers who were forced off their tracker loans to more expensive home loans.
The lender has admitted its wrongdoing led to customers paying higher repayments, being plunged into arrears, hit with costly legal fights and in dozens of cases, actually losing their house.
Alan Cook, chairman of Permanent TSB, and Jeremy Masding, chief executive, said they "apologise unreservedly" for the very serious consequences of the bank's failings.
"We are truly sorry that this has occurred and our absolute focus now is on correcting the position of every impacted customer as speedily as possible," they said in a joint statement.
On the 61 people who lost their houses, in some cases their homes, they added: "We will do everything in our power to help these customers."
The mess-up came to light after an investigation by the Central Bank of Ireland, which ordered a redress and compensation scheme for impacted customers.
Permanent TSB is to write to those customers, and those of its subsidiary Springboard Mortgages Limited who were also affected, over the next two weeks.
Some 1,372 mortgage holders are involved.
Derville Rowland, the Central Bank's director of enforcement, branded the failures "very serious and their consequences to be completely unacceptable".
"Our first priority has been to address the customer detriment by requiring Permanent TSB to put in place a customer focussed redress and compensation programme," she said.
"To avail of the Mortgage Redress Programme, customers will have to engage with Permanent TSB and respond to the letter which they will receive.
"We encourage impacted customers to consider their letter of offer and options carefully.
"We also encourage customers to use the money provided by Permanent TSB or Springboard to obtain independent advice."