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Central Bank

Dedicated staff and timeline clarity could help make mortgage-switching easier

Research shows that many consumers who have switched mortgages had a positive experience, and can save “significant sums of money”.

THE CENTRAL BANK has published research that shows that lenders could do more to make the process of switching your mortgage easier.

This comes after it was revealed thousands of homeowners should have been put onto cheaper mortgage rates by lenders, but weren’t.

The exact number of people affected and the total amount of money taken from homeowners is currently under review (expected to be completed by the autumn).

The Central Bank said today that many consumers who have switched mortgages had a positive experience, and that borrowers can save significant sums of money by switching.

They said they would consult on introducing measures to make mortgage switching easier for consumers thinking of switching.

Suggestions on how to do this include:

  • Dedicated mortgage switching staff
  • The ability to compare mortgage products
  • A less time-consuming process
  • Clarity around timelines.

central bank 312_90500827 Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland and Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank Professor Philip Lane. Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

This comes after the Central Bank governor Philip Lane answered questions last week about how they regulate the banks following the tracker mortgage scandal.

In the Finance Committee today, Central Bank governor Philip Lane said that there was a “systematic and widespread aspect” to the tracker mortgage scandal.

It does require comprehensive approach; there was a cultural issue that was in favour of the lender and not in favour of the customers.

He also said that lenders should “never have been as aggressive as they were in terms of how they viewed these contracts”.

Why the research?

shutterstock_564220642 Shutterstock / Nick Xiao Shutterstock / Nick Xiao / Nick Xiao

The research published today seeks to gain a better understanding of consumers’ perceptions, attitudes and experience of mortgage switching.

In addition to the consumer research, the Central Bank also conducted research amongst lenders, mortgage intermediaries and law firms in order to gain insights into their views of the mortgage-switching process.

Acting deputy governor of the Central Bank Bernard Sheridan said:

“It is clear that lenders could be doing more to facilitate consumers who are thinking about switching, be that switching to another lender or to another mortgage product with the same lender.

Lenders need, therefore, to examine these findings carefully.

“The Central Bank will progress its work in this area by publishing a consultation paper later this year which will set out proposed measures to help any consumer who is considering switching.”

Read: Gardaí consulted on tracker-mortgage scandal – no reports made yet

Read: ‘How did this happen?’: Court hands Bank of Ireland almost 8 acres of land it has no right to

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