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Clydesdale fined £8.9m over mortgage failings

Clydesdale fined £8.9m over mortgage failings

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 26/09/2013
First Published: 26/09/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Thousands of Clydesdale Bank customers are in line to be compensated after the bank miscalculated the repayments on their mortgages.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also fined the bank £8.9 million for failing to treat the affected mortgage customers fairly.

What happened?

In 2009, Clydesdale Bank first discovered that it had made an error in how it calculated repayments for customers with variable rate mortgages.

As a result, about 22,000 customers were found to have been underpaying on their mortgages.

The bank then increased the repayments for affected customers to correct its error and make up for the shortfall.

At the time customers were informed that their mortgage repayments would be rising, but the FCA said that, in the process of recouping the money, the bank put its own commercial interests ahead of requirements to treat customers fairly.

The FCA said the bank failed to inform customers of their rights by suggesting that they had no alternative but to pay the increased amount, when they could have rejected the bank's demands due to it being the bank's own error that led to the increased payments.

This is why the bank was fined nearly £9 million.

"For most people mortgage payments are their biggest monthly outgoing and we all budget on the assumption that the information our mortgage lender gives us about what we need to pay is correct," said the FCA's director of enforcement and financial crime, Tracey McDermott.

"Here Clydesdale failed in that basic duty and, when it discovered the problem, sought to pass all of the consequences on to its customers - expecting them to find the money to remedy mistakes which were entirely of Clydesdale's making."

What should I do next?

If you have been affected by Clydesdale Bank's miscalculation, then there's no need to do anything just yet.

The bank says all affected customers will receive letters explaining what happens next.

Where the bank's error resulted in a capital shortfall on a customer's mortgage, Clydesdale will write-off the entire shortfall amount, make a payment representing interest costs and recalculate the reduced payment amount where appropriate.

The FCA estimates customer shortfalls range from under £20 to over £18,000.

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