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Thursday 8 December 2016

'Bank stress affected my health' says mum-of-three overcharged by Permanent TSB

Lisa and John Kenny with daughter Lauren, age 6, and sons Sean, 4 and Padraig, 8 months, PTSB mortgage holders at their home in Navan
Lisa and John Kenny with daughter Lauren, age 6, and sons Sean, 4 and Padraig, 8 months, PTSB mortgage holders at their home in Navan
Permanent TSB chief Jeremy Masding at a press conference yesterday to discuss the mortgage redress programme. Photo: PA

The head of Permanent TSB is facing calls to resign after overcharging at the bank cost at least 22 families their homes.

Borrowers affected by the bank's errors were told to seek expert advice before accepting an offer of up to €50,000 in compensation, an amount that was described as "insulting".

Permanent TSB, which is 75pc State owned, will have to set aside at least €80m to cover the cost of potential fines and compensation. No one in the bank has yet been identified for any wrongdoing.

The bank is offering €50,000 in compensation to people who lost their homes as a result of being overcharged mortgage interest for five years or more. Less severely affected customers will be paid as little as €3,500.

Mum-of-three Lisa Kenny (31) said the stress caused by extra costs was so severe, it affected her health and forced her family to make huge sacrifices.

Lisa, who lives with her husband and children in Navan, Co Meath, took out a tracker mortgage with Permanent TSB in 2007. They lost it in 2011, "the same way everyone else involved in this dispute did".

"We estimate we have been paying an extra €500 a month - and that is a conservative estimate. It comes to about €23,000 extra in total.

Premature

"What I would like to say to the bank is: you took so much from us. We didn't send our kids to summer camp, we didn't do up our house, we were stuck in limbo. So many families have been put through this. Our kids missed out on so much.

"I have a young family and last year one of my babies was born premature, which I put down to the stress this caused.

"The bank wouldn't even talk to us, they didn't even let us know we had been affected.

"They dropped our mortgage rate last week - but didn't bother to tell us it was happening."

Padraic Kissane, a financial advisor, urged people to get independent advice before accepting any offer from the bank.

"You can't quantify what this has meant to people. If you were overcharged by €400 a month you had to earn an extra €800 a month to pay it, because of income tax," he said.

Current Permanent TSB chief executive Jeremy Masding was not at the bank when an initial overcharging error affecting 1,372 customers first occurred.

However, David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Association, said the bank's handling of the cases was "a disgrace".

He said Mr Masding should step down over the decision to fight customers all the way to the Supreme Court - even after the Financial Ombudsman and the High Court found against the lender.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Finance refused to comment when asked if the department had confidence in Mr Masding's position as PTSB CEO.

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