All banks must follow the lead set by AIB, Bank of Ireland, Halifax and Ulster Bank by passing on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate cut in full, Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman Leo Varadkar TD has said.
“I very much welcome the ECB’s decision to cut interest rates by 0.5%. But hard-pressed homeowners must see the benefits of this move through lower mortgage repayments. It is vital that every Irish bank passes on the ECB’s interest rate cut in full. Banks which refuse to pass on the cut will make massive amounts of money on the backs of families and businesses.
“AIB, Bank of Ireland, Halifax and Ulster Bank have taken the lead by announcing they will pass on the interest rate cut. All other banks and lending institutions operating in Ireland must immediately follow suit.
“Homeowners are facing increasing pressure in meeting mortgage repayments as the economy sinks deeper into recession. Ireland is facing a growing crisis as thousands of mortgage holders lose their jobs and join the dole queue.
“The most recent Live Register figures revealed that unemployment is now at 8.3%, a ten year high, with 510 people losing their jobs every day. Most of these people have mortgages, and are already wondering how they are going to meet their repayments. It is essential that banks do not add to this crisis by selfishly refusing to pass on the rate cut.
“The State has bailed out the banks through its guarantee scheme, and is moving to recapitalise the banking system. The financial sector must act in kind. Any bank which does not pass on the interest rate cut and continues charging mortgage interest at the higher rate stands to make huge sums of money every day. By doing so, they will only add to the problems facing hard-working families and businesses, and will be the only ones to benefit.”