The latest on the BOI Tracker rate scandal

The latest on the BOI Tracker rate scandal

9:29 AM, 21st May 2013, About 11 years ago

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The latest on the BOI Tracker rate scandalBank of Ireland issued the following press release and wrote to 1,200 borrowers today:-

“In February this year Bank of Ireland UK wrote to 13,500 mortgage customers to advise that their base rate tracking differential would increase on 1st May.  This increase is permitted by a specific clause in these mortgage contracts, which allows an increase in the interest rate differential after the guarantee period (after 31 December 2006).  This change reflects the significant increase in the cost of funding these mortgages since 2008 and the need for banks to maintain greater levels of capital.

In line with the Bank’s commitment to treat all customers fairly and as part of our ongoing management of customer complaints we have identified two groups of customers where we will not be applying the increase to their base rate tracker mortgage.  We have written to these customers and the Financial Conduct Authority has been informed of our decision and is supportive of our approach in excluding these customers.

The first group specifically relates to 1,000 Flexible mortgage customers who were actively using the flexible facilities on their mortgage account.  These customers received a specific administrative letter linked to their transactions that might have caused some customers to believe the differential was for the term of their mortgage.  The Bank has decided that anyone who has received this administrative letter will not have the increase in differential applied.

The second group of c. 200 customers are those that switched their mortgage product to a base rate tracker mortgage.  These customers received documentation detailing that the differential on their mortgage was variable, but the mortgage conditions they received did not detail the circumstances under which the differential could be changed.  As a result we are also removing these customers from the pool.

Des Crowley, Chief Executive, Bank of Ireland UK, commented: “We have said from the outset that we will review all customer complaints individually and that we are committed to treating customers fairly throughout the process, it is on this basis that we have removed these customers.”

Bank of Ireland UK will waive all early repayment charges for those customers to whom the differential increase applies and who wish to refinance their mortgage elsewhere.”

What are your thoughts?

Please comment on our main thread – see THIS LINK

At the time of writing this post over 20,000 people have read our original forum thread over on Property118 and nearly 700 comments have been left.

Affected borrowers were outraged when we first released the news of the Bank of Irelands intentions and many others with tracker rate mortgages became fearful that if Bank of Ireland get away with this other mortgage lenders will follow suit.

Our article was picked by Google News very quickly and this sparked massive media interest. We are very grateful for the Press coverage, especially the BBC, The Times and several mortgage magazines who have worked very closely with us and used the Property118 forum to engage with affected borrowers to add a human element to their reports.

As the thread progressed Property118 contacted Landlord Action and Paul Shamplina put us in touch with his new business partner, Julstin Selig at The Law Department for advice advice on starting a Class Action.

Funds from The GOOD Landlords Campaign (administered by Property118) were used to underwrite Counsels opinion which amounted to over 40 pages of legal advice from one of London’s leading banking barristers at 11 Stone Buildings.

Contributions to the Class Action fighting fund of £100 + VAT per affected borrower now amount to nearly £10,000. This money has paid for legal advice to both residential and BTL borrowers who have signed up and a case has also been prepared by barristers for submission to the OFT, FOS and the FCA to demonstrate why the BOI’s actions are illegal and should be challenged in Court by regulators in the public interest. If the OFT can be persuaded to fund the case at litigation this will avoid the need to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund costs and will also negate the risks of the Class Action being ordered to pay the BOI’s legal costs in the event of losing the case.

I issued the following statement to the Press yesterday “Clearly there is only so much legal advice that the funds raised to date can purchase so it is imperative for more affected borrowers to join the Class Action. The legal steps to date could be described as “Gorilla Warfare” against the Bank of Ireland and the submission to the OFT is effectively a call to bring in the Cavalry. Some affected borrowers have questioned why a Court Injunction has not been applied for to defer any rate rise until a legal case has been heard by the Courts. The reality of the situation is that a lot more funding would be necessary for such action. Hopefully this is the action the OFT will take but in the meantime it is vitally important that thousands more affected borrowers join in. Far too many affected borrowers seem to be hoping to take a free ride on the back of others’ commitment and I would urge those people to reconsider their position in order to accelerate progress.

If you are affected by the BOI Tracker Rate Differential change please sign up to the Class Action (see the link below).

DO NOT allow Bank of Ireland to get away with this.

If you are not directly affected, but you are concerned about the potential ramifications and the possibility of other lenders following the lead of the Bank of Ireland please show your support by recommending and becoming a member of The GOOD Landlords Campaign

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