Archive for February, 2015


February 14, 2015 1 comment

See Below Seamus Healy TD Calls for Fraud Squad To BE Sent into Banks!


Irish People Still Bailing Out Banks!

First time buyer with €250k mortgage paying extra €190 a month compared to EU average

The Central Bank said that the 3.21% interest rate compares to an average rate of just 1.77% across Europe.

  By Pádraig Hoare Irish Examiner Friday, September 14, 2018 

The Government “needs to show its teeth” and call banks to task on mortgage rates, which remain among the highest in the eurozone, according to a consumer body.

The average interest rate issued on a new mortgage in July was 3.21%, which fell very slightly from June, according to the latest Central Bank figures.

The financial watchdog said that the 3.21% rate compares to an average rate of just 1.77% across Europe.

This means a typical first-time buyer who’s borrowing €250,000 over 30 years will pay an extra €190 a month, consumer comparison website said.

Daragh Cassidy of Bonkers said: “Despite the recent rate reductions from some of the main banks, Irish mortgage holders continue to pay more for their mortgage than any other country in the eurozone, which is incredibly frustrating.


“With some of the banks still in majority State ownership, the Government needs to show its teeth and call the banks to account on this.”

Mr Cassidy said that a first-time buyer who takes out a mortgage of €250,000 in Ireland over 30 years would pay around €1,085 a month based on average rates.

“In Europe, they would pay on average just over €895. So in Ireland, we’re paying an extra €190 a month to the banks — or over €68,000 extra over the lifetime of the mortgage.”

The Central Bank said there was a 34% year-on-year increase in new mortgage agreements in the 12 months to July 2018, with the volume of new mortgage agreements amounting to €864m, bringing total new agreements to €7.7bn over the past 12 months.

Fixed rate mortgages accounted for 63% of new agreements over the three months to July, compared with 80% over the same period in the eurozone, it added. The average fixed rate for the year to date stands at 3.11%, according to the Central Bank.

Mr Cassidy said it was time for mortgage holders on variable rates to look into their options.

“We’ve seen fixed rates become more and more popular over the past few years and this shows no signs of slowing down, which is unsurprising given the better value on offer at the moment with fixed rates.

“Some fixed rates in the market are as low as 2.3% now, which is well below any variable rate on offer for new customers.

“With interest rates due to finally rise sometime in the middle of next year, mortgage holders on a variable rate would be wise to consider their options and look into the certainty and value that fixed rates currently offer.”

Brokers Ireland said while the increase in lending was welcome, there is no rationale as to why Irish mortgage holders should be paying the highest rate across the EU.

Director of financial services at the organisation, Rachel McGovern, said there was “no solid reason” as to why Irish mortgage holders “should not enjoy the same good value fixed long-term interest rates as their Euro area counterparts”.

She said mortgages are long-term products which lenders can plan long-term funding to support.

“Whilst of late Irish lenders have been improving their fixed rate mortgage products, Irish mortgage holders can fix for a maximum of 10 years while many of their European counterparts can fix for the entire term of the mortgage.”



Seamus Healy TD Calls for Fraud Squad TO BE Sent into Banks!

Chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee John McGuinness supports the call of Seamus Healy TD to send Garda Fraud Squad into Banks . Taoiseach Veradkar Has Rejected Healy’s Request      

Arrest bankers over tracker scam, says Dáil probe chief

Charlie Weston, Irish Independent

Arrests of bankers are needed to stop the abuse of customers seen in the tracker scam, the chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee said.

His comments came as it emerged Ulster Bank will have to spend millions more euro refunding customers for taking their trackers, as it faces having to restore thousands more to the low-mortgage rates.

The bank could have to put up to 3,000 more people back on trackers. This could see its total number of tracker cases jumping to 6,500.

Most of those affected took out mortgages with First Active, which was subsequently taken over by Ulster Bank, according to tracker restoration specialist Padraic Kissane.

Chairman of the Oireachtas Finance Committee John McGuinness called for the jailing of errant bankers.

The committee has been holding revelatory hearings into the tracker scandal.

Mr McGuinness said the mistreatment of tracker mortgage customers will continue until a banker is arrested and faces consequences.


Public Interest Directors of AIB, TSB, Government Appointees, Must be Called Before Dáil Committee and Questioned. How Did They Allow The Biggest Scam on Consumers in The History of The State?

As Taoiseach, At Leaders’ Questions, Refuses Demand of Seamus Healy TD to Send the Garda Fraud Squad into the Banks—–

Cave-In-Dependent Alliance Buckle to Veradkar and Drop Demand For Criminal Investigation into Banks

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission hasn’t launched an investigation into the Biggest Scam on Consumers of Banking Services or indeed Any Services in the History of State

Members of Commission Should Be Fired


Biggest Scam in History of the State-Makes Holders of Bogus Non-Resident Account Holders look like Altar Boys!!!!
Extract From Article in Irish Times 

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has submitted a formal complaint with European Commission competition authorities, asking them to investigate whether banks colluded to intentionally deny customers their correct mortgage rates. If the commission was to investigate, and to find against the banks, it could impose a fine of as much as 10 per cent of turnover. (Why has he waited until now?-PH)

Impacted consumers – even those who have settled but didn’t reach a “final” settlement – could then potentially bring a further case on these grounds.

“If there’s an anti-competitive cartel operating it could create a different level of damages altogether,” Mr O’Dwyer(Mayo Solicitor)  said.

The move also raises the question however of why the complaint has gone to Europe – and why the Competition and Consumer Protection Commissionhasn’t launched an investigation.

“Its attitude is pathetic and has raised serious questions about its relevance,” says David Hall, arguing: “Of course there’s enough for an investigation. It’s the biggest consumer scam in history of the State.”  Irish Times  28/10/2017


Cave-In-Dependent Alliance Buckle to Veradkar and Drop Demand For Criminal Investigation into Banks

From Irish Times Thursday, October 26, 2017

FG warned Independent Alliance about statement on trackers

Fiach Kelly, Harry McGee
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 21:17

The Independent Alliance was warned earlier this week about releasing a statement that Fine Gael believed would damage efforts to help people affected by the tracker mortgages controversy.

The group of Independent TDs called for a criminal investigation on the issue on Wednesday, hours before Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe gave a press conference on the controversy.

Some sources said the Independent Alliance wanted to freeze the assets of senior banking figures involved in the controversy.

However, it was suggested Fine Gael said this would lead to a run on the banks which would damage the whole financial sector.

It is understood that the Alliance members – Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, John Halligan and Seán Canney – were prepared to release their statement earlier but were warned against doing so.

Mr Donohoe had met with senior bank executives on Monday and on Tuesday before making his statement on Wednesday.

It is understood there was frustration among Fine Gael figures that the Alliance was preparing to release a statement that would pre-empt Mr Donohoe’s press conference after his meetings with the banks. “They were proposing stuff that would have made things worse for victims, which was not their intention,” said a source.

The Independents are understood to have been warned that such a statement would not be wise.

The controversy over tracker mortgages arose after it emerged tens of thousands of homeowners were potentially wrongly refused access to tracker mortgages by their banks after the economic crash. Some of those who were overcharged went on to struggle to meet their repayments, and some lost their homes through repossession.

Strong distinction

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday drew a strong distinction between Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance by refusing to say the Garda should be called in to investigate the tracker mortgage scandal.

Fine Gael’s junior coalition partner called for a criminal investigation to be initiated into the practice where most major financial institutions took customers off the lower tracker interest rates and put them on to higher rates.

Mr Varadkar insisted the Government had no authority to send in the Garda or its National Bureau of Fraud Investigation. “I would not like to live in a country, quite frankly, where politicians could order in the police or the fraud squad in the way that some people have suggested.”

When it was put to him that his coalition partners were among those, he replied: “You have my answer on that.”

He also said he did not know if any criminal behaviour had occurred.

The Taoiseach was speaking at a sod-turning event in Donnybrook, Dublin, for 19 housing units for elderly and vulnerable people.

Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness said there was an urgent need to break the “disgusting culture” that exists in Irish banks and that the Central Bank was not fit for purpose.

Mr McGuinness called on the European Central Bank to send in people to introduce better practices.“The political system has abandoned these people since 2009,” he said.

“The situation needs outside focus. If this doesn’t happen then the Minister [for Finance] will get the same old story from the banks and the status quo will remain.”


Send The Fraud Squad into the Banks-Seamus Healy TD

Veradkar Says No at Leaders Questions

Update – 2.19pm: The Independent Alliance has called for a full criminal investigation into the tracker mortgage scandal.

But Shane Ross, John Halligan , Finian McGrath Cave in to Veradkar and Dissapear From Media

Tipperary TD Seamus Healy made the claim in a tense Dáil debate with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar which saw the opposition politician demand Government now orders the garda fraud squad to investigate banking institutions.

Irish Examiner Update 3.30pm:

Former taoiseach Enda Kenny failed to act on specific calls six months ago for an immediate investigation into the tracker mortgage bank scandal, writes Fiachra Ó Cionnaith.

Tipperary TD Seamus Healy made the claim in a tense Dáil debate with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar which saw the opposition politician demand Government now orders the garda fraud squad to investigate banking institutions.

Speaking during the latest leaders questions debate, Mr Healy – who represents the Workers and Unemployed Action Group – said he asked Mr Kenny in April to “make a formal complaint to the garda and call in the fraud squad to investigate banks”.

Mr Healy said this was because of his concerns there was “a huge scandal that requires criminal investigation”, and that “any delay could lead to the destruction or alteration of relevant records with a view to blaming sub-ordinates and junior staff”.

However, despite the seriousness of the claims being made, Mr Healy said Mr Kenny “refused to call in the garda”.


“Six months later, all members can see the extent of the massive fraud involving 15 banks and €1bn, affecting 20,000 or more mortgage holders.

“Does the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar accept that if the then taoiseach, Deputy Kenny, had agreed to my demand six months ago to send the fraud squad into the banks much fraud could have been avoided and much trauma, pain and even deaths and self harm prevented,” he asked.

Responding to the claim, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland is a democracy and that as such “the Taoiseach, former taoiseach or the Minister for Justice cannot send in the garda or the fraud squad”.

Mr Varadkar defended Mr Kenny, saying no formal complaint has been made to the garda fraud squad to date to his knowledge, and suggested Mr Healy should contact the gardai himself if he believes such action is necessary.

Mr Healy heavily criticised the response, saying Government “is quite entitled to make a complaint” and should have done so six months ago, asking “why is the Government deliberately avoiding sending in the garda”?

However, Mr Varadkar again dismissed the claim, saying “the Government does not have the authority to order in the fraud squad and that is not how it works”.

Update – 2.19pm: The Independent Alliance has called for a full criminal investigation into the tracker mortgage scandal.

The five-member alliance is a junior partner in the coalition government and in a press statement said allegations of fraud at the banks “merit a criminal investigation”.

This is despite the Central Bank saying it had spoken to the Gardaí twice, but had not reached the burden of proof to make a criminal complaint.

Speaking earlier, before the Independent Alliance statement, the Taoiseach told Independent TD Seamus Healy the Government did not have the power in a democracy to send in the Gardaí.

He said: “We are a democracy, it’s not the case that the Taoiseach, the former Taoiseach or the Minister for Justice can send in the Gardaí or send in the Fraud Squad.

“The way it works is that somebody makes a complaint to the Gardaí, the Gardaí consider the complaint and decide whether or not they need to carry out an investigation or carry out a raid as necessary.”




It was “just an error”-Central Bank Accepts

IRISH INDEPENDENT:”The Bank of Ireland has twice in the past been accused of using “dirty tricks” to get people to give up their valuable trackers.
Now it has emerged that the bank has had to apologise again to tracker customers for sending a letter with details about how to switch to more expensive fixed rates.
Trackers are so cheap that moving to a variable or fixed rate could mean monthly repayments would be up to €500 more for a typical mortgage. (That Would Buy A lot of creme eggs-Man Charged for 3 Euro Theft-see below)
Head of mortgages at Bank of Ireland John O’Beirne wrote to thousands of tracker customers stating that a letter issued to them in January was sent out in error.
However, the letter clarifying the mix-up was only sent out last week.”
Full Article by Charlie Weston 29/04/2017

“When Joan Burton looks at me in my eye and says to me ‘obviously you’re a foreigner, you didn’t know that in Ireland there is no such thing as white collar crime. Had I known you at the time I would have told you to get another job.’ That is exactly what she said to me.” Jonathan Sugarman-Irish SUN

Full Article



 Man facing trial on €3 Creme Egg theft charge

Andrew Phelan

Irish Independent April 28 2017 6:35 AM

A judge has expressed surprise at the prosecution and trial of a man over the alleged theft of Cadbury Creme Eggs.

Judge Anthony Halpin said “you couldn’t make it up” when the case came before him at Dublin District Court.

The accused, Anthony O’Connell (41), denies stealing the eggs worth 3Euro from Lidl on Moore St, a Dulin city centre super-market.

Government Continues to Refuse Demand of Seamus Healy TD That Garda Fraud Squad Investigate Tracker Scam

TRACKER FRAUD: Central Bank  Admits :

“NO REPORTS (By the Central Bank) OF SUSPECTED CRIMINALITY (by Banks or Bankers ) HAVE BEEN MADE TO GARDAI TO DATE”-Statement to Oireachtas Committee  April 4,2017

“Yet in the six years since the Central Bank discovered this systematic deception we have no evidence of the Central Bank calling in the Garda to investigate what seems, on the face of it, to be multiple and organised crimes” Fintan O’Toole IT, Jan 3, 2017.

Fintan O’Toole Tuesday April 11, 2017 Despite Scale of Tracker Mortgage Rip-Off, No One Faces Charges-Extracts Below

The Criminal Law (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 says: “A person who dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another by any deception induces another to do or refrain from doing an act, is guilty of an offence.”

Is there not a strong prima facie case that very senior people in the banks deceived other people (their customers) to take an action (changing their mortgages) with the intention of making a gain for others (the bank) and a loss for those customers?

And where are the cops?

Central Bank: Derville Rowland, Head of Enforcement at Central Bank, to Oireachtas Committee on Finance, April 4 2017

“I met the gardai to discuss trackers and I have opened a dialogue with them. We discussed this in general terms. As our investigations proceed and progress, we will keep that under constant review and we will make those reports where the issues arise.  No reports (to gardaí) have been made to date”


From Fintan O’Toole  Opinion Piece  Tuesday Jan 3, 2017

Irish banks have got away with major fraud


The Criminal Law (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 says: “A person who dishonestly, with the intention of making a gain for himself or herself or another, or of causing loss to another by any deception induces another to do or refrain from doing an act, is guilty of an offence.”

This offence is punishable by a fine and/or up to five years in prison. I can’t find the clause that says the law applies to misselling a second-hand car but not a mortgage.

We know that at least 15,000 people were deceived by bankers, and that they suffered considerable loss as a result. About 100 families lost their homes.

Over the lifetime of these mortgages the amount involved in this attempted bank heist was at least €500 million.

Yet in the six years since the Central Bank discovered this systematic deception we have no evidence of the Central Bank calling in the Garda to investigate what seems, on the face of it, to be multiple and organised crimes.

Legal consequences

Who devised this system-wide scheme? Lane thinks it a coincidence that all the banks did the same thing.

“I am pretty sure they know that the legal consequences of cartel-like behaviour would be devastating for them. I see no evidence of that kind of cartel-like behaviour.”

How does he know that when there has been no criminal investigation?

Who issued the instructions? Who ordered staff to keep schtum when customers were crying on the phone? And will any of these people be prosecuted?

Lane told the committee that it must wait and see what enforcement action will be taken against individuals in the banks.

But we’ve waited at least six years and seen nothing.

And there are words we have not read or heard: law, crime, police. Until we do it is hard to believe that the culture that led to the crash has not survived its consequences.

————————————————-Government Refuses to Agree to the Demand of Seamus Healy TD That A Criminal Investigation be Ordered Into Tracker Fraud on Borrowers by 15 Banks

Seamus Healy TD to Taoiseach Kenny: “The Government’s task is to prevent fraud and, when fraud takes place, to prosecute those responsible. It is possible that the delay in ordering a Garda fraud investigation into this matter has already led to the destruction or alteration of relevant records with a view to blaming subordinates. Will the Taoiseach order an immediate criminal investigation to prevent any further cover-ups in this regard? Will he sack the highly paid public interest directors and Government nominees on the boards of these banks who failed to bring this matter to the attention of the Legislature?”

Leaders’ Questions Full Dáil Record  05/04/2017

Deputy Seamus Healy:   Tracker mortgage fraud by the banks is a huge scandal which requires criminal investigation. These are the same banks that we, the public, bailed out to the tune of billions of euro. Some 17,000 mortgages have been found to be affected thus far and there are more than 2 million accounts being queried and examined. This has the potential to be a €500 million scandal. Mortgage holders have been over-charged to the tune of €20,000 to €30,000. All 15 lenders are involved, including Allied Irish Bank and Permanent TSB which we, the State, own. Two of the 15 lenders have confirmed that 15 families have lost their homes and a further 14 are facing repossessions. As we have details from only two banks, this is likely to be only the tip of the iceberg. Most, if not all, of the houses repossessed have been repossessed by the original lenders, the banks which did the damage originally.

According to a statement made by the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Lane, there is a systemic and widespread aspect to the tracker scandal. He has said, “Underneath it all … this is a cultural issue which is interpreting contracts in favour of the lender and not in favour of the customer”. He has further stated that he could not rule out the hypothesis of collusion between some lenders. In view of those statements and this scandal will the Taoiseach ensure that free, professional legal and financial advice is made available to the mortgage holders affected? Will he give an assurance that the banks will be instructed to stop insisting that hard pressed families sign away their legal rights in order to access any degree of compensation and that any such signature already provided by defrauded borrowers will be rendered null and avoid? Will he also, through the Minister for Justice and Equality, ask the Garda fraud squad to call in the chief executives of the banks concerned for questioning with a view to prosecution for fraud?

The Taoiseach:   I note the comments by the Governor in respect of the tracker mortgages, including that consideration be given to follow through in regard to some of the activities that have gone on in this area. Nobody wants to see people lose their homes. The number of mortgages in distress has fallen substantially from what it was a number of years ago because of the various options put in place by Government at different times to help different categories of mortgage holders under pressure and cases in distress. A number of people have voluntarily given up their homes and others have availed of the services of MABS and other elements of support that have been provided by Government and the line Department. The allegation of illegal activities in respect of tracker mortgages will be followed-through.

Deputy Healy will be aware that any person who has a difficulty with his or her mortgage is eligible for assistance in terms of financial and legal advice and to have representation made available to them to negotiate directly with the lenders in these cases.

Unfortunately, in some cases there have not been any consultations or conversations between lenders and borrowers. At the end of the day, these things always have to be sorted out through some mediation facility. The Government has made a range of such facilities available. I hope people continue to avail of them. We would like to see as many of these cases as possible sorted out so that people can continue to live in their own homes.

Deputy Seamus Healy:   We are not talking about mortgage distress, as such. We are talking about illegality on the part of the banks leading to mortgage distress and, in many cases, to the repossession of family homes and borrowers losing their properties. We learned from the banking inquiry that the culture permeating the banks was also endemic in the Central Bank and the Department of Finance. There is no guarantee that existing regulations will be implemented by any branch of the financial elites. The Government’s task is to prevent fraud and, when fraud takes place, to prosecute those responsible. It is possible that the delay in ordering a Garda fraud investigation into this matter has already led to the destruction or alteration of relevant records with a view to blaming subordinates. Will the Taoiseach order an immediate criminal investigation to prevent any further cover-ups in this regard? Will he sack the highly paid public interest directors and Government nominees on the boards of these banks who failed to bring this matter to the attention of the Legislature?

The Taoiseach:   As the Deputy is aware, it is not for me to order criminal investigations. Where illegal activities are proven to have taken place, the full force of the criminal law is behind those who have illegal acts perpetrated against them. In other words, the criminal law will rightly apply in all cases where illegal activity has taken place.

New Comment by ED Harper:”I am increasingly convinced that we see here an experiment in a new tool of the corporate State. Whilst bleating about the “Free Market” and being precluded from interfering in it, the State, in the hands of capitalist parties, legitimates an increasing series of bacon slicer attacks on the value share the worker is allowed to keep from the result of his/her work—” click on GO TO COMMENTS in top line

Businesses Paying 80% Above EU Average for Loans

National Competitive Council Report—21/04/2016

“In November 2015, the interest rate in Ireland on loans of up to €0.25 million was more than 80 per cent above the euro area average rate for new business; the rate on loans of up to €1 million was more than 60 per cent more expensive in Ireland.”

Central Bank Feb 15, 2016

According a survey of interest rates published by the Central Bank, variable rate new housing loans averaged 4.13%

Typical Eurozone mortgage rates are 2.1%-roughly half the Irish rate.


Update Feb 15, 2016

Mortgage Holders and Small Businesses Being Ripped Off By Government.

A deliberate Government Policy is ripping off Irish Mortgage Holders and Small Businesses.

Statement by Seamus Healy  TD

According a survey of interest rates published by the Central Bank, variable rate new housing loans averaged 4.13%

Typical Eurozone mortgage rates are 2.1%-roughly half the Irish rate.

And interest rates for small businesses have come down everywhere in Europe except Ireland, according to retired governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan .

The excuse given by Government and Central Bank is that they “can’t intervene in the market”

This is pure deception.

They are intervening in the market with the effect of keeping rates artificially high! There is effectively no competition in the Irish Market

Fine Gael Finance Minister Michael Noonan has designated Bank of Ireland(BoI) and Allied Irish Bank (AIB) as “Pillar Banks”. This means that they cannot be allowed to fail and will be subsidised or bailed out again by government if necessary. This has frightened off foreign competition-Danske Bank and Bank of Scotland have already left.

This allows AIB, BoI and Permanent TSB to run a cosy cartel at the expense of householders and small businesses.
The Government is the owner of AIB, Permanent TSB and EBS as it holds the vast majority of the shares. It can call special general meetings of shareholders at any time and it can instruct the banks to lower the rates. All other banks would then have to lower their rates to stay in business

But the government will not do this. Instead it hypocritically calls in the banks from time to time “to express its concern” at the high rates.

The high interest rates are, in effect, a penal tax imposed by the government on householders and small businesses.
The balance sheets of the banks are being repaired by this tax. The banks are being “fattened up for privatisation”. When sold off the money will be used to pay back loans borrowed to bail out huge investors in the banks before they crashed.

There will be no compensation by government for small investors such as investors of pension and redundancy lump sums who were wiped out in the crash of bank shares.
Labour and Fine Gael are deliberately running this scam on the public. Fianna Fáil are just moaning about it rather than exposing this huge scandal.

Candidates of these parties should be forced to explain and to commit to ending the scam

Seamus Healy TD
Tel: 087 2802199


FG-Lab government allowing banks an even greater rip-off-and now sending a water bill as well!!!

Banks expand profit margin on lending

Cliff Taylor, Irish Times, April 10

The profit margin banks take between the lending rates they charge households and the deposit rates they pay to savers has grown to 3.5 per cent, up from 1 per cent in 2012, according to new Central Bank figures.

Deposit rates have fallen along with European Central Bank rates, but interest rates charged on mortgages and consumer loans have remained high.

Update April 12

“If I was a borrower in any other Eurozone country, I would be paying as much as €400 less per month, with an interest rate of approximately 2.3pc. The “our blended cost of funds is too high” stock answer from the banks is simply not good enough. Irish SVR customers are being completely ripped off. It is immoral and unacceptable.”-Sara Hogan PTSB Variable Mortgage Holder, Sunday Independent, April 12


New Central Bank Figures published Today Show:


Minister Noonan and government are responsible

The AGM of AIB is to take place shortly. As Government holds over 90% of the shares, Noonan can refuse to sanction continued overcharging of all variable mortgage holders both new and existing. He can sack the board of directors and elect a board that will reduce rates. But he will do neither because government want mortgage holders to complete the bank bail-out

Good detailed report in Irish Independent to-day on new Central Bank figures

Update April 10

Primetime/RTe News cover up Government Responsibility for Exorbitant Mortgage Rates and Decisions of Permanent TSB AGM held on Tuesday last.

I was naively hoping for an exposé of Government responsibility for the decision of the Permanent TSB AGM to continue exorbitant variable interest rates at double the average eurozone rate when I sat down to watch the Primetime programme las night. Silly me! The programme concentrated on the unfair decision of “the bank” to penalise existing variable rate customers. There was no reference to government responsibility.

In previous days RTE News avoided all attribution of PTSB AGM decisions to the holder of 99.2% of the shares-Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. The CEO was quoted as saying that Government “doesn’t interfere in commercial decisions” The bulletin failed to point out that o decision can be taken or fail to be taken without the consent of the 99.2% shareholder!

In fairness, Independent Newspapers has fully allocated responsibility to Michael Noonan for the PTSB decisions.   The true position is set out below.

Permanent TSB AGM: Noonan Refuses to Lower Variable Mortgage Rates

The AGM of PTSB was held yesterday. The state owns 99.2% of the shares in PTSB. Minister Noonan could have introduced a motion to lower variable rates, which at 4.5% are more than double the eurozone norm. He didn’t. He could have sacked the entire board of directors and put a new board in place with an instruction to reduce rates. He didn’t. Instead he approved the annual report which kept the rip-off rates in place and reappointed the existing board. Noonan says he is waiting for “research” from the central bank before calling in chief executives of banks on the matter. This is just spoof to cover up the continued crucifixion of borrowers by the FG/Lab government

At the AGM, Noonans representatives approve a plan to sell off a chunk of the states shareholding in PTSB for over 500 million, reducing the state holding to just over 50%.

This money will then be used to pay back money borrowed to fully compensate the billionaire investors (bond holders) who had approved policies which broke the bank.

Thus variable mortgage holders will continue to pay exorbitant rates to pay for the bank bail-out

When the restored bank is fully sold off to billionaire investors, they will then make profits on the backs of the Irish people until there is another bust. Then the citizenry will be asked to rescue them as before. So they have a risk free investment, a one way bet… long as any of the TROIKA parties FF, FG, Lab retain a veto on legislation by being part of a coalition government even as the minority party!!!

Update April 6


Minister Noonan as holder of over 90% share in AIB can remove all directors at AGM in 3 weeks time unless AIB has reduced variable mortgage  rates. But he is unlikely to do that. He has designated AIB and BoI as pillar banks. This has frightened off outside competition and Danske and Bank of Scotland has left. BoI and state owned AIB and Permanent TSB form a cosy cartel imposing rip-off rates. This situation has been facilitated by FG/Lab government in order to make variable mortgage holders and indebted small businesses to complete the bail out banks. Noonan could call a special AGM of state owned Permanent TSB and repeat the AIB exercise. Were AIB and Permanent TSB forced to reduce rates, all others would have to follow to avoid switching.


Despit his abysmal record on banks during the boom, Shane Ross is good on this in Sunday Independent yesterday. Click Below:

Update April 3

Fianna Fáil through the “blanket” bank guarantee forced the Irish people to bail-out the wealthy billionaires who owned the banks. It is sometmes forgotten that the “blanket” did not extend to those, including pensioners and redundant workers, who were advised to invest their lump sums in bank shares.

By continuing the FF measures  and by allowing  allowing banks to overcharge variable mortgage holders and small businesses for loans, Labour and Fine Gael are now forcing the public to pay for the bank bust.

However FF are now in opposition and are free to criticise FG and Lab on the rip-off interest rates.

All three Troika parties- FF, FG and Labour are responsible for ripping off the public and imposing austerity on the general citizenry.

Meanwhile the top 10,000 income tax payers continue to receive 595,000 per year each and the financial assets of the rich are now back above peak boom levels. (See Irish Super-Rich Awash with Money on this blog)

And the public will be paying twice for water and twice for local services  through the property tax to pay for the bank bail-out as well-and that’s not all!

The state is now paying 8 billion per year in interest on money borrowed to bail out billionaire bond-holders and to pay for the huge increase in unemployment and other costs caused by the bank bust

However Michael McGrath, FF Finace Spokesperson, neatly summed up the variable mortgage rip-off in an opinion piece in the Irish Independent to-day:

“Variable rate customers are typically paying 4-4.5pc on their mortgage.

The rates on sub-prime and buy-to-let loans are higher again.

The average rate in the euro area on new home loans is 2.3pc. The cost of funds for the banks(the rate of interest the bank pays to institutions which supply them with money to lend to the public-PH) in Ireland has fallen to between 1pc and 2pc.

Many variable rate customers are paying hundreds of euro extra each month because of excessive rates.

In simple terms, a 1pc difference in the interest rate on a €200,000 mortgage means an additional interest bill of €2,000 in a year.

People paying the marginal rate of tax need to earn €4,000 to come up with that money.”

Update April 2

Following their meeting yesterday, Minister Noonan and the Central Bank announced that the “CB will carry out research to find out why variable rates are so high” This is just spoof to buy time until the controversy dies down.


Government and Central Bank are just pretending that they have no power to lower rates.

For one thing the Government owns AIB and Permanent TSB and like any trader they can reduce prices if they wish. Competition would then force other banks to follow suit.

From Irish Independent to-day-Govt and Central Bank can Reduce Rates

“Consumer advocate Brendan Burgess of ASKABOUTMONEY.COM said it was not correct of the Government and the Central Bank to say they can do nothing about high rates.

“If the banks refuse to lower their variable rates, the Government should bring in powers to regulate rates, on the basis that it is an uncompetitive market.”

Mr Burgess said the discriminatory treatment of existing variable mortgage holders, compared with tracker holders and new buyers on introductory deals, must end.

He said this was a clear breach of the Central Bank’s Consumer Protection Code. The code demands banks treat all their customers equitably.”

Update April 2

Seamus Healy TD-Minister Kelly can bring in laws to take water charges from pay, pensions and other payments. But the government is refusing to make laws to end the 1 billion per year rip-off of variable mortgage holders by banks. Shame on Labour!

Noonan is meeting the Governor of the Central Bank today on the matter. He is just trying to pass the buck! In the Dáil, last night, he said the answer was to get new banks in to the system to increase competition!

Irish variable mortgage holders are being forced to pay for a second bail-out of the  the Banks including private banks such as ULSTER and Bank of Ireland which are owned by wealthy investors. Shame again on Labour!

From Irish Independent To-Day

Taoiseach has no plans to force banks to reduce sky-high variable mortgage rates

No relief for 300,000 mortgage holders from Kenny

Charlie Weston

PUBLISHED02/04/2015 | 02:30


Update April 1

Update 11.45

Taoiseachs Honeyed words Masks Failure to End Rip Off Mortgage Rates

The Taoiseach has just said on RTE  that Banks should pass on reduced ECB interest rates to mortgage customers!

But he also said that the Government has no power in the matter!

 I repeat: The Government owns AIB and Permanent TSB

 Ministers Kelly and Hayes must insist that Minister Noonan use this ownership to reduce AIB and PTSB rates immediately and introduce legislation to force the hand of all banks—Seamus Healy TD

Variable mortgage holders deserted by Noonan

Prospects of a reprieve for hundreds of thousands of families struggling with punitive variable-rate mortgages have been dashed by the Government”.-Irish Independent Today April 1

Existing Mortgage Holders Paying up to 6000 Euro extra per year!

Government owns AIB and Permanent TSB but claims it cannot reduce rates!

Government Must Stop this Daylight Robbery Now!

Irish Variable Rate Mortgage Holders Being Overcharged by 1 Billion as Banks Rake in Super-Profits

Government and Central Bank Facilitate RIP-OFF

380,000 Irish variable mortgage holders paid an EXTRA 1 billion above their European counterparts in mortgage repayments in 2014.

AIB made 1.1 billion profit, Bank of Ireland made 920 million profit in 2014. Together with Ulster Bank the total profit came to 3 billion. Irish variable rate mortgage holders are paying typically 4.5% interest whereas our European Counterparts are paying almost 2% less!!

The difference is a 1 billion Euro PER YEAR  penalty for Irish mortgage holders!!!

The ECB wholesale money rate was held at 0.05% -almost zero, 2  weeks ago.

It is welcome that Banks have had to reduce rates to new customers to compete for business. But existing mortgage holders are being fleeced

During 2014, the robbery of bank customers increased. Though net lending to customers of the 3 banks fell by17 billion in 2014, the bank made more profit by increasing the difference between deposit rate and interest rates! David Doyle of investment firm ETX Capital said:”their return to profit has been aided by raising the interest rate margin on loans, reducing tracker mortgage exposure and lower savings deposit rates. (Sunday Independent March 8)

And now that house prices are rising banks are increasing applications for repossession of homes. The Court Service says that there are 7001 applications for repossession  before the courts and the Irish Mortgage Holders Association says that 25,000 homes will be repossessed this year if government does not intervene.

  • Last year state owned AIB repossessed 345 homes, Ulster Bank 500 and BoI 200 (Central Bank Report March 6,2015)

AIB, Permanent TSB and EBS are owned by the state. Dick Spring ,former Labour Party leader was on the board of AIB through 2014. The state own 15% of Bank of Ireland and has representatives on its governing council.

It is the duty of the Central Bank to police the Banks. It has the power to stop this robbery of mortgage holders  It is allowing it.

The government appoints the members of the board of the Central Bank. All the Irish elites are represented on it. But 380,000 variable mortgage holders are not represented.!!!!

I am calling on Ministers Kelly and Hayes to insist that the government stops this robbery Now!

Last month, the Financial Services Ombudsman was told by the High Court to look again at Danske Bank’s decision to hike its variable interest rate mortgages to more than 4pc when European Central Bank rates had plunged to almost zero.  Chief executive of the Consumers’ Association Dermott Jewell has now advised variable rate mortgage holders to complain to  the Financial Services Ombudsman of overcharging by providers.

Having firstly complained to the bank , aggrieved people can make a complaint by clicking

Advice can be sought from

Those threatened with repossession should contact the Irish Mortgage Holders Association or The Phoenix Project, Port Laoise

Seamus Healy TD  087-2802199


AIB published its annual report today. After BoI, state owned AIB made a billion + by overcharging variable rate customers-by 2% above European Norm with connivance of government and Central BANK

Coincidentally, also today, the European Central Bank kept the central bank’s benchmark interest rate at 0.05 per cent following a meeting in Nicosia, the Cypriot capital. The Irish variable interest rate is 4.5%+ while the wholesale rate at which all European Banks are borrowing from the European Central Bank is now 0.05%-almost Zero. Why wouldn’t they be making large profits?. Variable interest rates in the other Eurozone countries are almost 2% below the Irish RATE.

UPDATE FEB 26 BOI make 921 million Profit in 2014—RIP- OFF of Irish Variable Mortgages Holders  Continues with Connivance of Central Bank and Government FEB 14   High Court judgment forces the ombudsman to reconsider a decision on Danske Bank to push up variable rates. (Irish Independent-see article below) Government is now forcing Irish Mortgage holders to Recapitalise the Banks  Variable Rate Mortgage Holders Overcharged in Ireland. Following the court judgement, all variable rate mortgage holders should complain to financial services ombudsman about overcharging by Irish Banks Variable rate mortgage holders are paying an interest rate which is almost 2% higher than the Eurozone average. The Irish interest rate is 4.5%+ while the wholesale rate at which all European Banks are borrowing from the European Central Bank is now 0.05%-almost Zero Around half of all new mortgages are supplied by the three banks fully owned by the Irish state – AIB, EBS and Ptsb.  So an arm of the state is overcharging its customers by around €500m a year for new mortgages alone. When overcharging by all Banks trading in Ireland and all variable rate mortgage holders are included, it is clear that Irish Banks are making approximately 1 billion Euro per year in unjustified extra or super profits This is being allowed by the Current Central Bank with full compliance by the Government. The previous Central Bank Board assisted the Banks in general in wrecking the country by issuing totally incorrect Financial Stability Reports each year NOW the current CENTRAL BANK is allowing banks to rip off their customers to repair their balance sheets. Government is totally agreeable to this as their “game changer” agreement that the ECB would retrospectively  recapitalise Irish Banks has vanished into thin air. Government is now forcing Mortgage holders to Recapitalise the Banks   Irish Independent Feb 14 2015 High Court judgment forces the ombudsman to reconsider a decision of Danske Bank to push up variable rates.   Thousands of people with expensive variable-rate mortgages are expected to take cases to the financial services ombudsman to get their interest rates reduced. It follows a High Court judgment forcing the ombudsman to reconsider a decision on Danske Bank to push up variable rates. Chief executive of the Consumers’ Association Dermott Jewell said he now expected huge numbers of people with variable-rate mortgages to take cases to the ombudsman. He was speaking after the Financial Services Ombudsman was told by the High Court to look again at Danske Bank’s decision to hike its variable interest rate mortgages to more than 4pc when European Central Bank rates had plunged to almost zero. Yesterday the ECB maintained its rate at 0.05pc. The ombudsman had thrown out a complaint by a North County Dublin couple that the bank had acted wrongly in increasing interest rates on six buy-to-let investment mortgages and the couple’s family home mortgage at a time when rates had fallen to historically low levels. Mr Justice Gerard Hogan ruled as ambiguous a clause in Danske Bank’s terms and conditions which stated that rates of interest would be altered in response to market conditions. The judge said Kenneth and Donna Millar, of Strand Road, Portmarnock, Co Dublin, have seven mortgage accounts, including a residential mortgage, with Danske all of which were currently being serviced and none of which were in arrears. Their complaint related to the manner in which Danske Bank purported to increase the rate under the terms and conditions that applied to the mortgages and the ombudsman had found the bank had acted in accordance with those conditions. David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders’ Organisation said the High Court ruling had the potential to impact on thousands of cases. Some 320,000 homeowners are on variable rates, which are among the highest in the eurozone, with another 60,000 people are estimated to have buy-to-let mortgages on variable rates. Mr Hall called on the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Dail’s Public Accounts Committee to conduct an investigation into the operation of the ombudsman’s office. The ombudsman has admitted that he finds in favour of banks in seven out of 10 cases, but has no choice in most cases. The judge said a number of banks had clauses in their mortgage contacts which implied that the variable rate would reflect the ECB rate, or market rates, which he said here also very low. Danske’s variable rate is 4pc, after it increased by almost 1pc in 2011. An ombudsman spokesman said it was reviewing the judgment. Irish Independent

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Taoiseach Rejects European Debt Conference Proposal of Syriza

February 2, 2015 Leave a comment

European Debt Conference-Taoiseach Reveals All!!!!

Taoiseach Kenny Reveals All on Debt Conference on RTE

Speaking on news At One on Sunday Feb 1 Taoiseach Kenny said:

Interviewer:Do you support the Syriza proposal for a European Debt Conference?

Kenny: Discussions on debt should continue to take place at the Eurozone Group where all Eurozone countries are represented

Ireland supported the Fiscal Treaty at the height of the recession (implied : and continues to support it)

The Key difference between a New European Debt Conference and discussions in the Eurozone Group of Countries is that the Eurozone Group of countries are all parties to the Fiscal Treaty and are bound by it.

In supporting the Debt Conference,the participants would be setting aside the unequal and discriminatory framework of the Fiscal Treaty. At a minimum participation in the Debt Conference proposed by Syriza would mean a willingness to renegotiate of the Fiscal Treaty.

Fiscal Treaty Requirements for Ireland—Austerity for Over Twenty Years!!! 

The Fiscal Compact requires that the current deficit be reduced below 3% of GDP by end of 2015, that the “structural deficit” be eliminated by 2018 and that the public debt to GDP ratio be reduced to 60% over 20 years thereafter. Despite the physical exit of the Troika from Dublin , the government is treaty bound to further reduce the current budget deficit in 2015  from 4.8% to 3% of GDP. There has been no recovery of national sovereignty.

The current budget deficit of Germany has been below 3% for a number of years. ” But although the German public deficit stayed within the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP for the third year in a row in 2013, it came down from a budget surplus of 0.1 percent in 2012.”

The EU has now quantified the budgetary position which would be required to eliminate  the Irish “structural deficit” in order to comply with the Fiscal Treaty. (EU Report on Ireland, March 2014)   The over-all deficit needs to be converted from -4.8 % of GDP in 2014  to +4.9% in 2018. Based on a GDP of 148 billion Euro in 2012, this requires a further 14 billion in cuts and tax rises unless there is significant economic growth.  Growth in GDP in 2013 was +0.2% , which means total stagnation as 0.2% is less than the probable error in the estimate. (After 2014, deficit =2.7%, hence further 11.25 billion in cuts/taxes now required to remove structural deficit by 2018)

Germany has no structural deficit.

Under the Fiscal Treaty Irish government debt must be reduced (not rolled over) from 102% of GDP now to 60% of GDP over the next 20 years. This requires further significant expenditure cuts and tax rises into the distant future-AUSTERITY FOR TWENTY YEARS (Reduction of 77 Billion over 20 years if no growth—anywhere between 2 and 3.8 illion per year but even worse if there is a further Eurozone and/or Irish  recession)

German national debt to GDP ratio at 57% is already below the 60% figure in the Treaty as can be seen at this link .

The Fiscal Treaty is merely a device to force the Programme Countries and other indebted countries to make huge repayments to the stronger countries led by Germany though all EU countries were responsible for the banking busts and European recession. A new economic colonialism has been established within Europe through the FISCAL TREATY

Eurozone countries whose net government Debt to GDP Ratios are in excess of 60% are:

Italy       103, Ireland     102, Spain    72,  Portugal   112, France      84,  Belgium   83, Greece    155

Other countries including Germany, Netherlands and Finland have ratios below the 60% figure set out in the Fiscal Treaty




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