Blog – McCarthy & Associates – Galway Talks, 10/09/2015

Issue: Financial relief on the horizon for homeowners who were not offered tracker mortgages.
Comment: A sizable number of people took out fixed rate mortgages in the past. In some cases, the letters of offer stated that when the fixed rate period expired they could opt for either a further fixed, variable or tracker rate.
As banks abolished tracker rates, some people were not given that option. The Central Bank has investigated this issue and as a result have found that a number of banks broke the terms of the contract with their customers and have forced them to make sizable rebates.
In the case of Permanent TSB and AIB there have been quite a number of cases that have come to light but I am sure that this will also apply to other institutions. If you think this problem might apply to you, then you need to check the letter of offer to see if you should have been offered a tracker rate and then make a complaint to the institution involved.
There is a 6 year time limit for taking action and if you do not receive a satisfactory response then you can refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman.
I would stress that just because you were on a fixed rate mortgage does not mean that you should have been offered a tracker rate, if the letter of offer did not outline this.

Issue: Would you stay in a poorly performing Life Assurance investment for years?
Comment: It is shocking the number of people who continue blindly with poor performing Life Assurance funds. This is because some people are very lethargic about taking action or getting advice on whether or not the fund that they are invested in has any possibility of recovery.
Remaining with certain funds may be the prudent thing to do but as with anything you cannot say that this is a principle that applies across the board.

Question: Where is the best place to put money on deposit?
Answer: Unfortunately I have to say—nowhere! Leaving money on deposit is something you should only consider for convenience as you will receive less than 1% and is not a wise place if you are looking for reasonable investment returns.