Belfast Telegraph

Bank of Ireland in mortgages move

Bailed-out Bank of Ireland has announced that almost 58,000 homeowners are to be hit with a hike in interest rates for the second time this year.

The lender revealed its standard variable mortgage rate will jump to 3.49% next Tuesday.

The Labour Party claimed the hike was unjustifiable after responsible households effectively bailed-out reckless banks.

Ciaran Lynch TD, spokesperson on housing, said: "We already know that tens of thousands of homeowners are under immense pressure with their mortgages, with many of them falling into arrears, and an increase in interest rates, such as this will only make things worse."

Bank of Ireland - the second lender to hit householders' pockets in recent weeks - is one of the six banks guaranteed by the state.

It confirmed 44,262 account holders will be affected by the announcement, but the owner-occupiers affected generally have older, smaller mortgages.

Customers owing an average 81,995 euro, will have seen their repayments rise by 450 euro this year, from 548.07 euro a month in January to 585.36 after this latest increase is implemented.

Borrowers already on a fixed rate will not be impacted.

Elsewhere the bank's building society, ICS, revealed interest rate increases of up to 0.6% to more than 13,600 customers with owner-occupier and buy-to-let mortgages.

Sinn Fein's finance spokesman Arthur Morgan said the knock-on effect of endless mortgage interest hikes on the public finances, at a time of fragility in the domestic economy, is enormous.

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