BANK of Ireland is likely to extend its scheme to pay stamp duty for first-time buyers, but it has no plans to follow AIB and cut its mortgage rates, it has emerged.
The bank started paying stamp duty for first-time buyers earlier this year on houses worth up to €1m. The scheme was to finish at the end of 2014 but weekend reports suggest this will not now be the case.
It is understood the bank will now maintain that offer for the rest of next year.
The offer to cover the 1pc tax, though relatively small compared with the overall cost of buying a house, has been very successful for the bank.
Mortgage brokers say the scheme, which would save a buyer as much as €4,000 on a €400,000 mortgage, has helped persuade many buyers to take the loan from Bank of Ireland over other lenders.
The bank is responsible for about a third of all mortgages being doled out in the country at present. AIB is by far its biggest rival.
Even so, Bank of Ireland is not expected to reduce its mortgage rate to 4.25pc after AIB did so.
A spokesman for Bank of Ireland said the lender was "constantly reviewing its mortgage rates".