Sunday 26 February 2017

Mortgage cut hope for EBS, Haven clients

Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne. Photo: Shane O’Neill Photography
AIB chief executive Bernard Byrne. Photo: Shane O’Neill Photography

The main banks' fight for mortgage business will heat up further in the coming weeks, with fresh announcements expected for customers of AIB subsidiaries EBS and Haven.

The country's second biggest bank last week cut its standard variable rate to 3.4pc, its fourth 0.25pc reduction in the past 18 months. However, AIB excluded 80,000 EBS and Haven customers from the reduction.

Now fresh announcements for these customers are expected, and will be closely watched for any reprieve on mortgage costs.

All banks are coming under increasing political and public pressure on the issue of mortgage costs. The average variable rate mortgage holder pays around €2,500 more a year than their counterparts elsewhere in the eurozone.

Chief executive Bernard Byrne has since said in a statement to staff that the exclusion of Haven and EBS from the cut was "deliberate" as part of efforts to create a "multi-brand strategy" in its mortgage business. "The key to this multi-brand strategy is to ensure that our propositions across our three brands meet the needs of different cohorts of customers," Byrne said. "We will be making announcements with regard to these brands in the coming weeks."

An AIB spokeswoman refused to say whether rates could be lowered for EBS and Haven customers. "We keep rates constantly under review," she said.

AIB's latest reduction has heaped more pressure on its biggest rival, Bank of Ireland, widening the gap in home-loan rates to 1pc between the two lenders.

With competition hotting up, Bank of Ireland has opted to extend its 2pc cashback offer - where it promises to give 2pc of the value of the customer's mortgage back in cash within 45 days of mortgage drawdown - until the end of September.

It has also introduced a new 'Premier Property Service' targeted at wealthy homebuyers, which offers advice to 'premier' customers.

Irish Independent

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