Business: Mortgages must rise, insists BoI

MORTGAGE holders face further headaches as Bank of Ireland plans to raise interest rates, to counteract its own rising borrowing costs.

Chief executive Richie Boucher, right, said the bank had avoided passing on one ECB interest rate hike this year but said it couldn't continue to absorb higher costs of borrowing money from international markets without upping its own costs.

The bank has not unveiled when this could happen but the bank has disregarded talk of any industry-wide debt forgiveness solution for mortgage holders unable to meet their repayments.

Impairment on charges relating to its Irish residential mortgage book jumped by 30pc within the year to €140m.

This rise is attributed to higher unemployment levels, lower disposable incomes, falling house prices and "the general economic downturn in Ireland".

The impairment on the total Irish and British mortgage book was up by €17m year-on-year to €159m.

As of the end of June, more than 4.5pc of Bank of Ireland's Irish owner-occupier mortgage book was in arrears for more than 90 days -- a significant increase from 3.2pc at the same point last year.

And just over 7.8pc of the Irish buy-to-let mortgage book was in arrears.