Tuesday 24 April 2018

Noonan has turned his back on the consumer as we face meltdown

They've been bailed out by the taxpayer and propped up by ECB funds but have given nothing back, writes James Fitzsimmons

Once again last week the bailed-out banks outraged the public when they refused to pass on the ECB interest rate cuts to homeowners. Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield had warned the banks to be fair -- but he is powerless to do anything.

Following the banks' sluggishness, Enda Kenny threatened to bring in legislation to empower the Regulator. Our guardians are men of straw. Whatever they do will be only a token gesture. It won't solve our problems, but it might reduce the pain a little. If the banks don't offer workable solutions to debt restructuring we are heading for financial meltdown.

Permanent TSB passed on the rate cut promptly. But then it was charging interest rates close to six per cent, among the highest in the market. AIB did an about turn last Thursday and agreed to cut its rate. Its standard variable rate is 3.25 per cent, so it should fall to three per cent. That should make it the lowest in the market, at least for now.

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