Speaking in response to the news that Allied Irish Bank is raising interest rates on variable rate mortgages by 0.5% Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD said that the hike was reckless and unacceptable and called on the Government and the Central Bank to intervene immediately.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Over 100,000 households are in serious mortgage distress. Today’s announcement by AIB that they are raising their interest rates on variable rate mortgages by 0.5% will force many more mortgage holders over the edge. It will add €900 per year onto the cost of a typical €250,000 mortgage.
“This will affect 70,000 mortgage holders. And we cannot ignore the fact that in July AIB increased their interest rates by 0.5%. This means that in just over eight weeks many AIB customers will have seen their mortgage repayments increase by €1800 per year.
“That AIB announced the rate hike in the same week as they used €1bn of taxpayers money paying an unsecured unguaranteed bond is an utter disgrace.
“For two years now the Government and the Central Bank have been sitting on their hands and allowing the banks to dictate policy on the mortgage crisis. The rest has been disastrous for both the tens of thousands of households in mortgage distress and for the domestic economy.
“It is time for the Government to intervene in this crisis. AIB’s decision to hike interest rates is reckless and unacceptable. It will hurt home owners and add yet another obstacle to our economic recovery. The Government and the Central Bank must act immediately.”