Call on mortgage borrowers on rates

Eamon Quinn

Irish banks still have some way to go to match the low levels of mortgages in the rest of the eurozone after KBC Bank followed Ulster Bank in reducing its fixed-rate home loans, according to campaigner Brendan Burgess.

Mr Burgess of the Fair Mortgage Rates Campaign said that existing borrowers should immediately contact their lenders to tap huge monthly savings as mortgage lenders reduce their fixed rates for both new and existing customers.

He said that current borrowers will miss out on huge savings because their lenders are under little obligation to contact them over the new rates.

KBC cut its fixed rates for up to five-year terms across the full range of loan-to-value mortgages, to around 2.5% and 2.8%.

It follows a decision by Ulster Bank last month to cut its fixed rate mortgage loans.

Other lenders will be under pressure to respond to maintain or grow shares of the new mortgage business.

KBC is leaving its variable rate mortgages unchanged.

KBC said: “The new rates will provide further choice for a broader range of consumers with many customers now choosing fixed rates that provide even greater value and certainty over the long term.”

Mr Burgess of the Fair Fair Mortgage Rates Campaign said he was heartened that existing customers, and not only new customers as was the case in the past, could avail of the lower mortgage rates by banks.

But he predicted that mortgage rates would fall further because official surveys show Irish lenders charge the most for home loans in the eurozone.

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