There are at least 300,000 households who are on standard variable rate mortgages. These families have benefitted least from the current low interest rate environment in Europe. For a typical €200,000 mortgage, a standard variable rate customer will pay 2% more in interest which equates to approximately €4,000 a year more than a comparable borrower in Northern Ireland and other European countries.
Fianna Fáil has been to the forefront of the campaign to end the rip-off of variable rate mortgage customers.
Our Central Bank (Variable Rate Mortgages) Bill 2015 will deal with this comprehensively:
The legislation we are proposing is balanced between the obvious need for banks to be profitable and the rights of consumers to be treated fairly. The Central Bank would be given responsibility for monitoring the level of competition in the mortgage market and the fairness of rates charged.
This would act as a strong deterrent to banks from charging excessive rates and would only necessitate Central Bank action where the evidence points to a clear market failure. It would empower the Central Bank with a range of tools to influence the standard variable rates charged.
Reduced fixed rates are not adequate for SVR customers. While reduced fixed rates are welcome they may not be suitable for large numbers of customers. They would not be able to benefit from future rate reductions or lower rates from new market entrants. For mortgage holders who want to sell their home while on a fixed rate mortgage they would have to pay a penalty for breaking the fixed term early.
Protection for mortgages sold to vulture funds: Our proposals would also have the distinct advantage of protecting customers of smaller lenders and those families whose loans are sold to vulture funds. Currently there is nothing to stop the buyers of these mortgages from increasing rates to 6 or 7% or even higher.
Banks must open up the market for switcher mortgages
The switcher market is largely non-existent. Banks like to give the impression that they are willing to take on the mortgages of existing customers of other institutions but in reality very few are ever completed. This underlines the weak competitive nature of the mortgage market in Ireland and means that thousands of customers are effectively trapped on high SVR rates.
Campaign for mortgage fairness.pdf
|Date:||22nd July 2015|
Protecting Family Homes, Reforming Personal Debt.pdf
Fianna Fáil Strategy on Mortgages and Personal Debt
|Date:||21st April 2015|
Supporting Home Ownership - National Housing Roadmap.pdf
|Date:||20th July 2015|
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