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Tesco won't offer Irish mortgage service


HOPES that Irish home buyers could avail of expanded mortgage options have been dashed with the news that Tesco will not duplicate its UK parent's much-vaunted mortgage service here.

A Tesco Ireland spokesman said: "There are no plans in the short or medium term to expand our financial services in Ireland to include a mortgage service.

"Ireland is a very different market to the UK as far as Tesco is concerned and it has a different regulatory system."

The spokesman would not comment on whether the general poor state of the Irish economy and the credit sector in particular had anything to do with Tesco's reluctance to introduce full-on banking services in Ireland as it has done in the UK.

Tesco has already diversified here to provide home and car insurance and credit cards, but has not developed to fully-fledged banking.

UK banks are expected to take a hammering from the supermarket chain, which is following US-based Wal-Mart into the mortgage market.

Analysts say Tesco is well-positioned to cash in on general public resentment towards British banks, which has intensified following the Libor scandal in which it emerged that thousands of customers had been stung.

Michael Dowling of the Independent Mortgage Advisors Federation (IMAF) said: "The global trend seems to be for big retailers to expand into home loans and banking.

"It would appear to make some sense as supermarkets are accessible for all when banks are closing their high street outlets.

"Whether or not the Irish market appeals to them is another question entirely."

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