150,000 mortgage holders have option to switch for better rates: Harris

150,000 mortgage holders have option to switch for better rates: Harris
Simon Harris

Junior Finance Minister Simon Harris has warned banks to "cop on", or face losing hundreds of customers looking for better rates.

He was speaking after AIB this week reduced its standard variable rate by a quarter of one percent to 3.9%. Bank Of Ireland and Ulster Bank said they had no plans to do likewise.

"Banks need to realise if they don't cop on, and if they try to extort their customers, their customers are going to get up and go somewhere else," Mr Harris said.

"That's not an option for every standard variable rate customer. It is an option for about 150,000 of them though and the Government needs to help convey that message very clearly.

"The Government needs to foster competition (and to) present, through the Central Bank, honest data of what exactly the gap is, and we need to start seeing phased reductions. We saw it in AIB this week and we want to see it in the other banks."

Meanwhile, new measures to specifically target people in long-term mortgage arrears are to be introduced in the next few weeks, with details of the plans to be finalised soon.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan will meet with the four main mortgage lenders next month to discuss the issue.

More on this topic

Thousands will lose their homes, warns campaigner David Hall as Ulster Bank announces mortgages saleThousands will lose their homes, warns campaigner David Hall as Ulster Bank announces mortgages sale

Central Bank data shows slight fall in mortgage arrearsCentral Bank data shows slight fall in mortgage arrears

No Consent, No Sale bill 'should be no-brainer'No Consent, No Sale bill 'should be no-brainer'

SF 'No Consent, No Sale' bill could have 'severe unintended consequences', says Central BankSF 'No Consent, No Sale' bill could have 'severe unintended consequences', says Central Bank

More in this Section

Motorcyclist, 40s, killed following fatal collision in CorkMotorcyclist, 40s, killed following fatal collision in Cork

Boy, 9, seriously injured after being struck by car while cycling in Co OffalyBoy, 9, seriously injured after being struck by car while cycling in Co Offaly

Man, 19, dies following road collision in Co AntrimMan, 19, dies following road collision in Co Antrim

Elderly man airlifted to hospital following fall during fishing competition Elderly man airlifted to hospital following fall during fishing competition


Lifestyle

Their romance took Laura Roset and Ken Mohally from Mallow to Moldova and back again.Wedding of the Week: Love spreads from Mallow to Moldova

As the Caped Crusader hits 80 years of protecting Gotham City, Chris Wasser looks at the history of the world’s darkest superhero.80 years on, Batman still packs a punch

Despite the many issues in the housing market, the number of mortgages being approved is rising, with first-time buyers making up the bulkMaking Cents: Key points for people buying their first house

When it comes to music podcasts, the actual tunes themselves are not essential — the best series discuss around the music.Podcast Corner: Digging deep with music podcasts

More From The Irish Examiner