The Government has initiated a tender process for a €600,000 public awareness campaign to better highlight consumer bank switching options.
The campaign forms part of the competition measures agreed with the European Commission within the restructuring plans of the two predominantly State-owned banks AIB and Permanent TSB.
The successful tenderer will oversee market research and the full execution of the campaign, which will ultimately be run through “an appropriate State body”.
Interested parties have to 12pm on August 26 to apply.
Meanwhile, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes has called for a further shake-up of the mortgage market, including the introduction of longer-term products and legislation to establish a simpler switching procedure for consumers.
While welcoming news that the Central Bank is to introduce measures requiring banks to regularly inform their variable mortgage holders of alternative products on offer, Mr Hayes said the regulator needed to develop “a specific code of conduct on switching”, adding that the Government should introduce standalone legislation to establish a simple switching procedure.
“We must recognise that there is still a great lack of competition in the mortgage market,” said Mr Hayes.
“Variable mortgage rates are still too high. We need to find ways to ensure that foreign banks can come into our mortgage market and compete with the current market players.
"To develop that competition, I believe that switching must be a key component of our mortgage market.
“We currently have very low switching rates and this keeps the market less competitive.”
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