Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD, Seán Crowe, has said the fact that some banks are contesting investigations being conducted by the Financial Services Ombudsman into tracker mortgage cases, illustrates that the culture within the banking system has not changed.

Crowe said that Sinn Féin will draft legislation to close this supposed “loophole” that the banks are now citing and that the attitude of banks to those affected is absolutely appalling.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“When legislation was introduced by my colleague Pearse Doherty TD to remove the so called ‘six year rule’ that became law in 2017, it was never intended that this would allow for banks to claim the loophole they are now citing; using it as an excuse to reject complaints based on previous contact prior to that date by those affected by the tracker scandal.

“In fact, the legislation was passed in order to ensure that many of those affected were able to have their cases heard by the Ombudsman and many of them now have. Claiming a loophole now, based on previous contact, flies in the face of assurances from the banks that they have changed and that there has been a cultural shift in the banking sector.

“This latest ploy by the banks demonstrates that their repeated apologies in respect of the tracker mortgage scandal count for nothing and their attitude to customers is absolutely appalling.

“If the banks persist in trying to block investigations by the Ombudsman and fighting those affected on this so called technicality, then it is Sinn Féin’s intention to introduce legislation to close down this supposed loophole in the coming weeks. I would urge the government and all parties in the Oireachtas to get behind this to ensure that those adversely affected by the tracker scandal are able to seek redress and the compensation that they are clearly due.”