Banks could off-set the need to hike mortgage repayments by shedding flashy accessories like private dining rooms and limousines, it was claimed tonight.
Fine Gael said all lenders are expected to follow Permanent TSB which hit customers with a ½% interest rate rise, adding €66 to a mortgage worth €250,000.
Leader Enda Kenny said big banks like AIB and Bank of Ireland could save €1.3bn if they brought their costs in line with European counterparts.
He claimed the figure was three times the amount expected to be taken from hard-pressed mortgage holders.
“That cost-based structure could be reduced by looking at the question of private dining rooms, private art galleries, limousines and all the other excesses that banks and bank boards have put together over the years,” Mr Kenny said.
The Fine Gael chief demanded the Government call bank bosses in to see their cost-reduction plans to off set the necessity to rise mortgage repayments.
“The dogs in the street know that the banks are going to come with a variable mortgage increase here,” Mr Kenny told the Dáil.
“And the Government, as the biggest shareholder, can say to them, I want to see your plan for cost-structure reduction.”
Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the Government was looking at a range of measures to help homeowners, including extending mortgage interest subsidy to 2015 for those who require it.