Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

Continue Reading

Currencies, Equities

Scary movie sequel beckons for eurozone markets

Just as horror movies can spook fright nerds more than they expect, so political risk is sparking heightened levels of anxiety among seasoned investors. Investors caught out by Brexit and Donald Trump are making better preparations for political risk in Europe, plotting a route to the exit door if the unfolding story of French, German […]

Continue Reading


Dollar rises as markets turn eyes to Opec

European bourses are mirroring a tentative Asia session as the dollar continues to be supported by better US economic data and investors turn their attention to a meeting between Opec members. Sentiment is underpinned by US index futures suggesting the S&P 500 will gain 3 points to 2,207.3 when trading gets under way later in […]

Continue Reading


Basel Committe fail to sign off on latest bank reform measures

Banking regulators have failed to sign off the latest package of global industry reforms, leaving a question mark hanging over bankers who complain they have faced endlessly evolving regulation since the financial crisis. Policymakers had hoped to agree the contentious new measures at a crunch meeting held in Chile this week, but a senior official […]

Continue Reading

Banks, Financial

Banking app targets millennials who want help budgeting

Graduate debt, rent and high living costs have made it hard for millennials to save for a house, a pension or even a holiday. For Ollie Purdue, a 23-year-old law graduate, this was reason enough to launch Loot, a banking app targeted at tech-dependent 20-somethings who want help to manage their money and avoid falling […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks

Central Bank of Ireland fines Springboard for mortgage mispricing

Posted on November 29, 2016

The Irish central bank has imposed one of its highest ever penalties on an Irish financial institution after completing an investigation into mortgage mispricing that in some cases led to customers paying tens of thousands of euros more than they owed in mortgage repayments.

The Central Bank of Ireland said on Tuesday it had imposed a fine of €4.5m on Springboard Mortgages, which at the time the mispricing happened was a wholly owned subsidiary of Permanent TSB, a high street bank that was badly hit by Ireland’s financial crisis.

The fine is the latest in a series of stiff penalties imposed on Irish lenders failures in how they deal with customers or other operational issues.

The central bank is taking an increasingly tough line on operational or business conduct failures as it seeks to restore the bank’s reputation for customer protection after the crisis.

The fine for Springboard is understood to be the largest penalty imposed on a financial institution for business conduct failures. It followed an investigation by the central bank into tracker mortgages, where the interest rate tracks that of the European Central Bank. The regulator said Springboard failed to apply the correct interest rates to 222 customer mortgage accounts over a seven year period between August 2008 and July 2015.

Derville Rowland, the central bank’s director of enforcement, said:

The consequences for impacted customers were serious and totally unacceptable. All 222 customers paid more than required, some fell into mortgage arrears, and some were subjected to legal proceedings.

She said the fine “demonstrates the central bank’s determination to take all necessary action in order to protect customers’ best interests, and serves as a clear and timely warning to all regulated firms of their obligations to customers.”

Springboard Mortgages was a new lender in the Irish mortgage market at the height of the country’s construction and house-price boom in the late stages of the “Celtic Tiger” era. It was established in 2007 as a joint venture between Permanent TSB and Merrill Lynch.

It was effectively a sub-prime lender, and its emergence coincided with the collapse of Irish house prices and the global financial crisis. The Irish bank took full control of Springboard in 2008. The loans in the Springboard Mortgages portfolio were acquired by Mars Capital, a venture capital fund, in 2014. At the time it had a mortgage portfolio with a nominal value of €468m.

Springboard is no longer operating. Permanent TSB declined to comment. The central bank said its investigation into Springboard had now closed.