Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (24)

Michael McGrath

Question:

24. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance his views on the increasing divergence between tracker mortgage rates and standard variable rates; his views on whether banks are using increased standard variable rates to subsidise loss-making tracker loans; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23035/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I, as Minister for Finance, have no statutory role in relation to the mortgage interest rates charged by regulated financial institutions with regard to tracker mortgages or standard variable rates mortgages.  It is a commercial matter for the banks concerned.

The Central Bank has responsibility for the regulation and supervision of financial institutions in terms of consumer protection and prudential requirements and for ensuring ongoing compliance with applicable statutory obligations.  The Central Bank has, however, no statutory role in the setting of interest rates by financial institutions, apart from the interest rate cap imposed on the credit union sector in accordance with the provisions of the Credit Union Act, 1997.

The mortgage interest rates that financial institutions operating in Ireland charge to customers are determined as a result of a commercial decision by the institutions concerned.  This interest rate is determined taking into account a broad range of factors, including European Central Bank base rates, deposit rates, market funding costs, the competitive environment and an institution's overall funding.