Families' €65m home loan pain (that's saving in a year by switching)

Irish families could save a massive £65m in a year by switching mortgage providers, the Central Bank has revealed. - Kieran Dineen

It found one in five mortgage holders could cash in by switching to another lender.

According to their analysis 26,955 families could save more than €10,000 over the lifetime of their home loans.

And 16,000 mortgage-holders would be at least €1,000 better off in the first 12 months by shopping around. The Central Bank research found 21 per cent of mortgage-holders could switch for lower interest rates.

But the report says only 38 people a month are making this change.

This comes six months after the Irish Sun revealed the savings on offer for homeowners.

As part of our Spike The Hike campaign, we compared the prices from lenders on a 20-year €200,000 mortgage, where the Property was worth €250,000.

The Bonkers.ie study found savings of €85 a month on offer, which come to €20,400 over the lifetime of the loan.

The new research by the Central Bank, which looked at more than 500,000 mortgages shows almost half of borrowers can't save because they have tracker mortgages.

A third aren't in a position to switch either because their loan value is too small, or they are in arrears. But for 21 per cent there is no barrier and the report noted: "The cumulative available savings across all mortgages in the 12 months after switching are £65million."

Most lenders cover at least on offer for €1,000 of the legal fees, meaning it costs just €300 to change banks, it states. But Simon Moynihan of Bonkers.ie said: "You may as well be talking to the wall than asking people to change mortgages.

“Unfortunately, Irish people tend not to change. They open an account their parents' bank or one offering a student offer, and stick with it."

Fianna Fail called for the introduction of a code of conduct to help people switch providers.

Finance spokesman Deputy Michael McGrath said: "The Central Bank report on mortgage switching blows apart any lingering notion of a competitive, mortgage market in Ireland.

"The stark reality is that the banks are simply not interested in facilitating customers to move their mortgage to get lower rates.

"This report highlights the urgent need for the Central Bank to introduce a statutory code of conduct on mortgage switching.

"A strong code would provide certainty to mortgage holders about the process involved and ensure the mortgage holder's rights are protected."


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