Government must stop banks from ‘hammering’ variable rate customers says Crowe

Variable rate customers across Galway are being “hammered” due to the Government’s failure to stop banks from increasing the interest rates.

Fianna Fáil city councillor Ollie Crowe has accused the Government of “sitting on its hands as” banks hike the variable rates, despite the European Central Bank’s decision to slash rates to 0.25 per cent at the start of November.

“I find it incredible that the Government has failed to ask banks to pass on the latest ECB interest rate cut,” he said. “Instead of providing some relief to mortgage holders in difficulty, many variable rate customers are seeing an increase in their mortgage repayments as banks seek to recoup losses from tracker rate cuts.”

Cllr Crowe said the Government’s inaction will only exacerbate the mortgage crisis in Galway and across the State, with one in four mortgage holders in some form of distress.

In light of this, he calls for “long-term solution to the problem” presented by tracker mortgages.

“I am calling on the Government to put the case for a transfer of tracker mortgages to a special purpose vehicle with a long term funding arrangement backed by the ECB,” said Cllr Crowe. “A comprehensive solution along these lines would remove the incentive for banks to hit variable mortgage holders to pay for tracker losses.”

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