Tuesday 23 December 2014

Lender breaks a key promise

Published 02/11/2012 | 05:00

BANK of Ireland's letter to customers is a violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of the banks' promise not to force borrowers off their tracker mortgages, writes Donal O'Donovan.

The letter apparently suggests that homeowners with tracker mortgages might switch to fixed-rate mortgages in order to "protect" themselves against possible future interest rate increases.

But most trackers specify a margin of either 0.75pc or 1pc over official ECB rates, meaning that anyone currently on a tracker mortgage is paying an interest rate of as little as 1.5pc to 1.75pc.

By contrast, a home-owner wanting to fix his or her mortgage with Bank of Ireland for the next three years would pay an annual rate of more than 4pc.

This means ECB interest rates would have to rise by at least 3pc before it would even begin to make sense for Bank of Ireland tracker mortgage customers to fix their interest rates. And that's not going to happen any time soon.

Irish Independent

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