Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has responded to today’s Statistical Release on Retail Interest Rates by the Central Bank by calling on banks to cut interest rates for Irish borrowers suffering with the third highest interest rates in the EU.
Today’s release showed that the average mortgage rate for new borrowers stood at 2.78 percent, more than twice the EU average and behind only Latvia and Greece.
Teachta Doherty said: “Today’s release by the Central Bank shows that the average mortgage rate for Irish borrowers remained more than twice the EU average in September of this year.
“This is behind only Greece and Latvia, and results in Irish borrowers paying thousands more in interest per year than the average European borrower.
“In September, Spanish-owned lender Avant Money entered the mortgage market offering fixed and variable rates below the current rip-off average being offered by the banks.
“At the time, I called on other lenders to respond by cutting interest rates.
“Banks justify the extortionate rates paid by borrowers by blaming the high level of capital they are required to hold, while failing to acknowledge that this is the case because of their reckless actions enabled by a Fianna Fáil government a decade ago.
“The rates offered by Avanta Money show that current interest rates are not necessary – they can be reduced. Banks must put the needs of society first and move to reduce them.
“Covid-19 has been a difficult time for borrowers, many of whom have lost their jobs. For those who took payment breaks, they were charged additional interest due to the inaction of this government to protect them.
“This additional interest damages Irish borrowers hardest given already high interest rates in comparison to other EU jurisdictions.
“As we emerge from this crisis, the Irish mortgage market, and the interest rates charged to borrowers, must be tackled.”