The Yates Anthology - Stunt politics
Variable loan rate facts are clear: standard variables in the UK and EU vary from 1.8pc to 3.29pc. Here, they're 4.5pc or more. New customers obtain rates 1pc cheaper than captive customers. The average tracker mortgages are cross-subsidised by €6,000 annually by variables.
The Government response is ultra-superficial. Taoiseach Enda Kenny attacks the banks' behaviour, Finance Minister Michael Noonan urgently meets Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan. Such gestures are optical illusions - impressions of action, concealing inaction. The Central Bank is inherently conflicted in protecting debtors or mortgagors.
Their primary responsibility is ensuring bank profitability and enhanced balance sheets. When banks breached protocols relating to non-performing debts, there were no sanctions. Debt-restructuring targets were blithely ignored and failure to meet them went unpenalised.