30 June 2018
By Mary Bermingham
The Carrigaline based Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance Michael McGrath has said consumers must now force a mortgage rate war by voting with their feet and following the best rate of interest.
Deputy McGrath was commenting following Ulster Bank’s decision to cut its 2-year fixed rate to a market best of 2.3%, “This is the opportunity consumers have been waiting for. Banks have been benefiting from rip off mortgage rates in Ireland for far too long. The message to consumers now is don’t give the other banks the option of not responding to this move by Ulster Bank.
“We know from Central Bank research that some 150,000 mortgage holders could save money every single month by switching their mortgage to another lender or by changing to a different mortgage product with their current lender. Ulster Bank’s new 2.3% rate has the potential to really shake up the mortgage market and bring rates much closer to European norms.
“However, this will only happen if consumers actively seek out the best interest and are willing to move their mortgage accordingly. There are simply far too many mortgage holders paying more than they need to and lenders have benefited from this.
“The Central Bank needs to play its role too by not allowing lenders to discriminate between new and existing customers. They have also found the vast majority of advertisements relating to confusing ‘cash back’ proposals to be in breach of the Consumer Protection Code. They should take the opportunity now of removing them from the market and as a result push rates down further for the benefit of consumers.”