Mortgages: Thousands of high street bank customers could be in line for free money after High Court trial

A sign for TSB bank

Customers who paid higher mortage rates could be elligible to free cash

Roisin Lynch

By Roisin Lynch

Published: 29/03/2023

- 09:10

Updated: 29/03/2023

- 14:53

A London law firm is claiming TSB exploited mortgage customers by making them pay excedeingly high rates.

Following the economic crash in 2008, thousands of Brits became ‘mortgage prisoners’ after being trapped in high interest rate.

London Law firm Harcus Parker is claiming TSB put borrowers on its Whistletree brand, forcing them to pay rates as high as nine per cent and refusing to allow them access to ordinary fixed-rate deals on the same basis as other mortgage holders.

TSB bought 27,000 Northern Rock mortgages in 2016 with the vast majority of those able to claim. Many have been trapped paying between four and five percent on their mortgages for more than a decade.

Affected customers were driven into hardship and debt as a result of the scandal.

Customer withdrawing money from a TSB ATM machine

Law Firm Harcus Parker sais they believed the overall lawsuit could be worth up to £800 million


Harcus Parker added in a statement that many of these borrowers had unblemished repayment histories but had been unable to move to another lender because they would not have qualified under new, stricter, affordability requirement imposed by the regulator.

Customers whose mortgage has been administered by Whistletree are eligible to claims. Those who took out a ‘Together Mortgage’, which allowed borrowers access to lending of up to 125% of the value of their homes, could be able to seek additional compensation.

TSB has responded to the claims saying they will ‘robustly defend’ its position,’ adding it was committed to treating affected customers fairly.

Ahead of the initial hearing last autumn, TSB argued they ‘took ownership of the Whistletree mortgages in 2026 and subsequently created access to product transfers for customer who did not previously have access to them.’

Man riding a bike outside the Bank of England

Following the economic crash in 2008 thousands of Brits became 'mortgage prisoners'


The law firm is asking the High Court to order TSB to write to customers to let them know they may be able to make a claim.

The initial claim was brought to the High Court in July 2022, with Harcus Parker arguing the overall lawsuit could be worth up to £800 million.

Speaking on the matter, Harcus Parker senior associate Matthew Patchingtold said “Our clients have been treated terribly by TSB – they have been charged interest on their mortgage rates significantly higher than those charged to other customers at the same bank.’

"This has had a real and devastating impact on the lives of homeowners who, other than happening to take out a mortgage with Northern Rock prior to the global financial crisis, are often identical to large numbers of TSB's other customers."

‘Since then, over two thirds of Whistletree customers have either transferred to a new Whistletree product or closed their mortgage with Whistletree. We write to customers twice a year to remind them about the opportunity to switch.’

Senior partner at Harcus Parker says the trial means ‘the whole process can be expedited.’

He is urging any customers who believe they are eligible to claim, to do so as soon as possible, as ‘everyday they delay their cliam, it will reduce the final amount of money they can recoup.’

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