Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson Michael McGrath TD has welcomed the announcement of mortgage rate cuts for new and existing customers of KBC Bank and has called on more banks to follow suit.

Deputy McGrath commented, “Just last week, the Oireachtas Finance Committee commenced pre-legislative scrutiny of a Fianna Fáil Bill to give extra powers to the Central Bank to tackle excessive variable mortgage rates in the Irish market. It is particularly welcome that today’s announcement of rate cuts by KBC applies to both existing and new customers.”

“This is a key breakthrough for tens of thousands of mortgage customers. The different treatment of existing and new customers by some banks in terms of mortgage rates is blatant discrimination and should not be tolerated by the Central Bank,” added McGrath.

“KBC Bank is now offering a one year fixed rate of 2.9% for customers with a loan to value (LTV) of less than 90%. The reduction in the variable rate depends on the value of the home relative to the size of the loan. A customer with an LTV of less than 50% can now avail of a rate of 3% with KBC, while a customer in the 80%-90% LTV bracket will now pay 3.5%.”

“Today’s announcement by KBC Bank represents tangible progress in the campaign for fair mortgage rates. However, the campaign will continue, as will the Oireachtas scrutiny of the Fianna Fáil legislation designed to tackle the issue.”

“As banks enjoy favourable market conditions and record low cost of obtaining funds, the benefits must be passed on to mortgage customers, both new and existing.”

“It is no longer acceptable that customers of Irish banks pay way over the odds for loan products. We have always argued that rates should follow prevailing market conditions. Fianna Fáil will continue to work for more progress on this issue,” concluded McGrath.