Reports suggest that as many as 22,000 borrowers have been affected by the scandal, either by being denied a tracker mortgage or being moved off them incorrectly, following the financial crisis.
Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank, said there was a “systemic” issue, with 15 banks ordered to examine their back books.
Lane said: “I’m not going to rule out, until these examinations are concluded, the hypothesis of collusion but there was an economic imperative here for many of these banks. Essentially, I think what was happening was that they were trying to, [during] a period of financial stress, save money by charging customers, where they could, a higher, more expensive rate.”
Banks have already started paying compensation to borrowers over the affair – according to the Central Bank, around €78m (about £67m) has been paid out in redress to 2,600 victims, with another 7,000 affected customer accounts identified.
One lender, Springboard, has been fined €4.5m (£3.85m) for its behaviour, on top of the €5.8m (£4.96m) it has already paid out in compensation.
Lane warned further fines may be on the way. He said: “We may also commence other investigations, as appropriate, into other lenders and persons concerned in the management of such entities where there is evidence of non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
“In this regard, enforcement activity will be influenced by the outcome of the reviews currently being conducted as part of the tracker examination.”