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Bank of Ireland increases credit card interest by up to 4 per cent

The rate increases, which had been advertised in October, kicked in yesterday – only a week before Christmas.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive

BANK OF IRELAND has increased the variable interest rates applied on its credit cards – only a week before Christmas.

The interest rates have been increased by between 0.7 per cent and 4 per cent, depending on the specific credit card held by customers.

The highest increase has come on the ‘Clear’ credit card, advertised as one of the bank’s “low rate cards”, which has seen its APR increase from 13.8 per cent to 17.8 per cent.

Holders of the Classic credit card have seen their APR go from 17.9 per cent to 19.9 per cent, while the rates on platinum cards went from 16.6 per cent to 17.3 per cent.

The increases had been signalled in newspaper advertisements in October, but comes in the peak of the busiest shopping period of the year.

Full details of the new interest rates, effective yesterday, can be seen here.

The bank has said its rates remain competitive, and the increases were necessary as a result of “continued pressure from high funding costs”.

The bank last week raised €250 million through the auction of subordinated bonds carrying an annual interest rate of 10 per cent.

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Bank of Ireland is 15 per cent owned by the taxpayer after the purchase of preference shares worth €3.5 billion, while €1.2 billion from the National Pension Reserve Fund has also been deposited in the bank to increase its cash reserves.

The government’s two public interest directors at the bank, Tom Considine and Joe Walsh, are due to appear before the Oireachtas committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform tomorrow.

Read: Bank of Ireland raises €250 million in sale of subordinated debt

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Gavan Reilly

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