Doherty launches Interest Rates Approval Bill
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty today launched the Interest Rates Approval Bill 2013 at Leinster House.
The bill prevents banks that were bailed out with public money from hiking mortgage interest rates without approval from the financial regulator.
Deputy Doherty said:
“Last month when the ECB reduced its interest rates Irish banks did not pass on this change. This is not the first time this has happened.
“Next week AIB is set to increase its variable mortgage rate by 0.4%, its third hike in 12 months.
“In 2011 the government said it would legislate to force banks to pass on ECB rate reductions but it failed to live up to this commitment.
“My bill would prevent banks that were bailed out with public money from hiking mortgage interest rates without approval from the financial regulator.
“The regulator must weigh up not only the interests of the banks but the interests of taxpayers when making a decision on interest rate hikes.
“Furthermore, the government must use any influence it has over these banks as a result of the bailout to protect struggling mortgage holders who footed the bill for the bailout.”