Noonan calls on banks to rethink rate rises

Fine Gael Finance Spokesman Michael Noonan has called on the banks to stop penalising mortgage holders.

Speaking after AIB and Bank of Ireland both passed stress tests to see if they could survive another recession, Michael Noonan said the banks only reached this stage because taxpayers put their necks on the line.

Yesterday both Bank of Ireland and AIB received the news that they had passed European stress tests as part of a check up on 91 banks across the EU.

The tests were carried out to find out whether institutions have enough capital to survive further shocks to the financial system.

Seven of the 91 banks tested failed to meet the criteria which was looking at whether banks could withstand another recession.

Regulators found that Bank of Ireland and AIB, the two Irish banks who had to undergo the stress testing, have met all the requirements and do not require additional capital, beyond what was set out in March of this year.

Noonan, whilst welcoming the successful stress test verdict, warned this has only been achieved at enormous risk to taxpayers.

He says mortgage interest rates have been creeping up even though the European central bank has kept its own rate untouched, and the least that taxpayers should expect is for bank of Ireland and AIB to set an example and cancel planned increases in variable mortgage rates.

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