Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary says his party’s Bill on mortgage rates will force banks to ensure that the rates that they charge are fair and proportionate to rates across the EU. This is the third time that Fianna Fáil has sought to address the inequalities in the mortgage market and the make-up of the new Dáil now offers TDs an opportunity to make a difference in this area.
Deputy Calleary commented, “There are thousands of families across Ireland struggling with unfair mortgage rates. Some mortgage holders are paying up to €4,000 a year more in interest than customers with comparable mortgages in Northern Ireland and other European countries. This is deeply unfair and something which my party has been trying to address over the past number of years.
“Under our new legislation, the Central Bank would be required to carry out an assessment of the state of the mortgage market, taking into account factors such as the banks’ cost of funds, reasonable profit expectation, concentration within the market, the ease with which borrowers can switch mortgages between lenders and extent to which they are switching.
“We are committed to ensuring that mortgage customers in Ireland get a fair deal. Over the past number of years banks have been quick to pass on interest rate increases when their cost of borrowing rose, however they have failed to reduce rates in the aftermath of unprecedented ECB rate cuts. This needs to change so that families are given a break.
“This is an important Bill, which will mark a sea-change in the relationship between banks and their customers, and will give mortgage holders more protection against rip-off practices. It puts consumers at the centre of the process and will give a much needed break to families who have been paying inflated interest rates over the past few years”.