Saturday 25 October 2014

Boost for tracker mortgage holders as ECB maintains interest rates at record low

Published 07/08/2014 | 12:57

ECB headquarters, Frankfurt. Photographer: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg
ECB headquarters, Frankfurt. Photographer: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

THE European Central Bank, as expected, maintained interest rates at 0.15pc at its monetary policy meeting today.

The ECB cut interest rates to record lows in June and became the first major central bank to charge banks for holding their deposits overnight.

That cut was a boost for homeowners with tracker mortgages, as any cuts have to be passed on to the 375,000 people with these mortgages.

But interest rates are so low now that there is unlikely to be a further cut. However, the low rates are giving banks here cover to cut savings rates, financial experts said.

The Frankfurt-based bank is now set to continue to assess the impact of a package of stimulus measures it unveiled in June, including taking one of its key interest rates into negative territory.

Although the eurozone came out of recession last year and unemployment has fallen slowly, the Ukraine crisis and Western sanctions against Russia present a wild card of uncertainty, economists said.

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