Bank of Ireland chief says he won't lower rates just because AIB has

The CEO of Bank of Ireland said the bank won't necessarily lower its mortgage interest rates, just because other banks have done so.

Richie Boucher said his bank doesn't necessarily follow other banks when it comes to making products cheaper for customers.

AIB have already cut their variable mortgage rates, prompting hopes of a price war among banks.

Speaking to TDs this afternoon, Richie Boucher said Bank of Ireland won't just cut rates because others have done so.

"We operate in a competitive market, we review our rates on an ongoing basis, and we also bear in mind our responsibilities to all of our stakeholders: our depositors, our shareholders, the taxpayers who we repaid," he said.

"The strategies of other banks are something we keep an eye on. But what we learnt in the past … is we don't slavishly follow the strategies of other banks."

Earlier, Fianna Fáil's Michael McGrath had called for Bank of Ireland to adjust their rates, saying "there is simply no justification for the banks continuing to charge well in excess of 4%".

Boucher also said forcing people to save up 20% of the price of a house could drive them into the hands of loan sharks.

The rules, due to kick in in January, will also see most borrowers limited to borrowing no more than three-and-a-half times their income.

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