Tracker Mortgage Examination
Tracker Mortgage Examination update
The Central Bank of Ireland (‘Central Bank’) has required all relevant lenders to conduct a comprehensive review of their mortgage portfolios (‘The Tracker Mortgage Examination’). In line with this, Ulster Bank is reviewing its contractual and regulatory obligations to our tracker mortgage customers.
While our review is ongoing, we have identified a group of tracker mortgage customers who have been affected by the use of ambiguous and confusing terminology in our mortgage documentation.
We would like to apologise to those customers who have been adversely impacted as a result of this failure. The first step we are taking to remedy this is correcting the interest rates on these accounts, in order to prevent any further harm to impacted customers. We will write directly to those impacted customers in the coming weeks, confirming their new interest rate and payment amount.
In addition, we will implement a redress and compensation programme in respect of those customers impacted by this issue, in line with the principles prescribed by the Central Bank. We will be writing to those customers to outline what impact we have found, together with our proposals to put things right, including any redress and compensation due. We will also outline details of payments that will be made available towards the cost of independent professional advice for impacted customers and provide details of the appeals process for any impacted customer not satisfied with the level of redress and compensation provided.
Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Gerry Mallon said:
“On behalf of Ulster Bank, I would like to apologise for the lack of clarity that has led to this impact. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to resolve this and we are focused on putting this right for our customers.
"We will begin contacting our customers shortly, to advise of the rate changes that will be made for those found to be impacted. I also want to thank our customers for their continued patience in this matter.”
Separately, in line with the Tracker Mortgage Examination, we will continue to review our contractual and regulatory obligations to our remaining tracker mortgage customers. The review will take some time to complete and other customers may be identified as impacted as we progress through this work. Our activity is in line with the principles outlined by the Central Bank and is also being assured by an independent third party. We are not in a position to confirm exact timeframes or the final number of impacted customers at this stage.
How do I know if I am impacted by this review?
If your account has been impacted, we will write to you to confirm this.
We have commenced writing to customers whose accounts are currently on an incorrect rate of interest.
If I receive a letter, what does this mean for me?
If you receive a letter regarding the Tracker Mortgage Examination, this means that as part of our initial review, we have identified your account as impacted. The first step we will take to rectify this is to change the interest rate on your mortgage account to the correct interest rate.
The next step we will take will be to determine what further action we need to take and what level of redress and compensation will be required for your account. This step will include any impacted customers whose mortgage accounts have been redeemed or switched from Ulster Bank.
This is the first in a number of communications that you will receive. We will write to you again in March 2017 to provide an update on the progress of the review, which will include timeframes for the information set out below.
- Any redress and compensation that may be due to you once finalised
- Details of a payment towards the cost of independent professional advice that you may wish to seek
- The independent appeals process that will be available to you
What do you need to do now?
If you have not received a letter from us, you do not need to take any action. We are at the initial stages of this ongoing review and will contact all customers identified as impacted over the coming months.
If you do receive a letter, this means that we have identified your account as impacted and have changed the interest rate on your mortgage to the correct interest rate. Please note if you pay your mortgage by any method other than Direct Debit (e.g. standing order) you should adjust your next payment to the new monthly repayment amount set out in our letter to you. Aside from this, you do not need to take any further action at this time as the amended rate will be applied to your account.
How long will this take?
This review will be thorough and while it is a priority for us, we expect that it will take a number of months due to the scale and complexity of the review, the need for independent assurance and to provide all customers with fair and consistent outcomes.
Who is conducting the review?
A dedicated team in Ulster Bank is conducting the review in line with specific Central Bank requirements. All aspects of this review are being assured by an external independent third party who will be reporting to the Central Bank.
What should I do if I have a question?
If you have any further queries you can write to us at Tracker Mortgage Examination Programme, Ulster Bank Ireland DAC, 4th Floor, 33 College Green, Dublin 2; or call our dedicated tracker mortgage enquiries team on 1800 303 352 Freephone/Lo-Call from mobiles or +353 1 562 1269 if calling from abroad. Lines are open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Calls may be recorded.