UB 4 Yr Fixed Mortgage That Lasts 4.5 Yrs

AllAboutNumbers

New Member
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Hi All

Long time reader of the forum and find the debates and discussions really informative.

I'm sure there are plenty UB Fixed Customers on the forum and just wondering if anyone has any experience around the length of UB Fixed Mortgages?

We commenced a switching process from BOI to UB in January 2018 and we successfully completed and drew down in April 2018 @ 4 Yr Fixed @ 2.6% which at the time was a very competitive rate.

Reading the advice here about switching, I contacted UB about the breakage cost which is in excess of €3k. The breakage cost is what it is but I thought it would be less. I noted in the letter from UB it said my fixed rate would expire in September 2022. I contacted them and said their records need to be updated as I fixed for 4 Yrs in April 2018 so my rate would expire in April 2022 not 30th September as they have outlined in their letter. They confirmed all was in order and while you sign up to "4 Yr Fix" it lasts longer than 4 Yrs. They have now directed me to the Ombudsman as from their side I signed the loan offer (which I did and I'm not contesting) and the matter is closed. I haven't gotten a formal response from the Ombudsman.

Surely offering a 4 Yr Fix and contractually tying a customer to a deal that leaves them worse off beyond that is not permitted? By that logic they could tie me to a "4 Yr Fixed" and keep me on it for 10 Years (or at the very least 4 yrs and 364 days) if they wanted to! 4 years to me is 48 months in financial terms. In reality it's 54 months in Ulster Bank's world.

Again 100% accept I signed it, but feel i was absolutely misled and duped. Is this practice normal across financial institutions or purely a UB tactic? Moving to UB was my 2nd switch since my original drawdown of my mortgage and had never seen anything similar to this approach when getting loans of any type.

Anyone have any experience of it or indeed successfully challenging it? For switching it will have material impact on the breakage charge applied as they are working off a date of 30th September 2022 in their calculations as opposed to somewhere in April.

Thanks to all in advance!
 

WizardDr

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1,257
Need to tell us what was on Letter of Offer
Is it to your advantage or detriment is the issue
W
 

Protocol

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3,201
I have a 4yr fix with UB.

I was sort of aware of this, as the marketing material referred to a fixed date in the year when all 4yr fixes end.

By that I mean, I was reading their leaflets in summer / autumn 2018, and the leaflets referred to a specific date in 2022.

I didn't think it was a big deal, and I signed up in late 2018.

Mind you, the bank official never mentioned that aspect to me.

I can see how some people will assume that a 4yr fix means 4yrs to the day.

If I remember, I will check my Loan Offer later.
 

WizardDr

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1,257
It just comes down to whether it works to your advantage or not
Look as Letter of Offer
W
 

michaelm

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I'm on the same UB 4yr fix. It was clear to me that it was a little over 4 years. I suspect your complaint will go nowhere.
 
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4,912
Ulster Bank should not be advertising 4 year fixed if it goes beyond 4 years. The UB advertisements clearly state "4 years".

I think you have a good case for being mislead on this.
 

AllAboutNumbers

New Member
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4
Need to tell us what was on Letter of Offer
Is it to your advantage or detriment is the issue
W
The loan offer stated "4 Yr Fixed @ 2.6% until 30092022". I do not disagree that it wasn't referenced in the pack. It was never mentioned in any meetings with the mortgage advisor (who was the Branch Manager as it turns out) and I don't think it would be unreasonable to expect the 4 years to start from date of drawdown.

What I took from the dates when I saw it were this was when the offer would expire e.g. once you drew down in advance of this date you would then be fixed for 4 years not that the actual 4 year clock would only start ticking once you got to that date.

I'm on the same UB 4yr fix. It was clear to me that it was a little over 4 years. I suspect your complaint will go nowhere.
How long over the 4 years is all relative though to when you drew down.

I'm sure there are others who drew down before me who are in fact closer again to 5 years rather than 4. If you want to break it's going to impact on the cost to do so also. I just think if that's what it is it should be explicitly stated. I took the dates as when the offer would end being available not when your 4 year / 48 month term would actually start. Again this was my only interpretation so appreciate others may see it very differently.
 
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Protocol

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3,201
I had a look at some of my documents.

In an annual mortgage statement, I see reference to:

"Current product ends 31-03-2023".

As far as I recall, that means my 4yr fix is for 4years and 4 months.
 

michaelm

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1,783
UBs fixed rate offers all have a set date - which they update a couple of times a year - for when they expire. Methinks it's just how their system works. I don't think they are trying to deceive anyone. If you look at their current 2 to 10 year fixed rate offerings the end date is explicitly stated. Anyone can see that if, for example, they take out a 2 year fixed today it will run for a little under 2 years 3 months https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/mortgages/mortgage-rates.html#resfixed
 

Gordon Gekko

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4,687
It’s a funny one. Mine is fixed for 5.5 years but it’s a 5 Year product. I viewed the extra 6 months as a good thing so I can’t really complain.
 

Monbretia

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1,885
UB have been that way for years, each fixed rate offer is like a set tranche that expires on a set date.
 

AllAboutNumbers

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UBs fixed rate offers all have a set date - which they update a couple of times a year - for when they expire. Methinks it's just how their system works. I don't think they are trying to deceive anyone. If you look at their current 2 to 10 year fixed rate offerings the end date is explicitly stated. Anyone can see that if, for example, they take out a 2 year fixed today it will run for a little under 2 years 3 months https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/mortgages/mortgage-rates.html#resfixed
Yeah I suppose the way I always saw them was that if you drew the loan down by these dates you would then get the relevant Fixed Period but again that's just how i read it.

UB have been that way for years, each fixed rate offer is like a set tranche that expires on a set date.
Are they unique in that or have you heard that others do it? I'll be more tuned into it next time we switch just so I'm fully aware next time.

As @CiaranT says I think if you wanted to exit after the 4th anniversary they will let you.

W
Yeah can't imagine they'd kick up too much at that stage or the breakage cost would be small. It would be good though if they calculated the breakage cost off the 4yrs rather than the 4+ years.............again only good from my point of view not UB!
 

AllAboutNumbers

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Thanks everyone for the advice. Always interesting to hear the different points of view. If nothing less it's been a lesson learned for me and luckily not too costly.

When I hear back from the Ombudsman I'll post here as it may be of interest to others.
 

peemac

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825
I don't have an ulster bank mortgage, but I do know that they advertise their fixed rates and always state that it is fixed until xx/xx/xxxx

Has been this way for years and if it is very noticeable for someone who is not in the market for a mortgage, then it is fairly clearly shown.
 

abc_xyz

Registered User
Messages
39
I took a two year fixed rate mortgage with UB too and the total duration is going to closer to 2.5 years. I remember being clear about when the fixed rate ends from the website - looking at it now it seems even clearer than I remember (https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/mortgages/mortgage-rates.html#resfixed). The date on the contract was clearly over 4 years aswell.

If it's any consolation I got a break fee for a partial lump sum yesterday of €0 and I have ~4 months left on the fixed term. I can't say if this is because of the interbank rates or if it's because I have such a short time left on the fixed term.
 
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