Fianna Fáil Deputy Spokesperson on Finance, Frank O’Rourke TD has welcomed An Post’s announcement that it intends to enter the Irish mortgage market in 2019. Deputy O’Rourke has repeated calls for increased competition in the mortgage market as Irish mortgage holders are paying significantly more than other EU mortgage holders.

“For some time now, the Irish mortgage market has been badly in need of a major shake-up. The average standard variable rate for a mortgage in Ireland is currently around 3.2%. This is nearly 1.4% higher than the average Eurozone rate, which stands at 1.8%. This is what makes the statement from An Post so significant.”

“This means that a borrower with a mortgage of €200,000 is paying €250 per month more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country.”

“If An Post can deliver a mortgage product at up to 1% cheaper than the existing banks, consumers, and the local economy, will be the winner. An Post is in a positive position to enter the mortgage market as it does not have to deal with legacy issues such as, the high rates of non-performing loans. With the right partner, An Post has the potential to offer an exciting mortgage product and at much cheaper rates than currently available.”

“As I have said before, we also need to review the restrictions on long term lending currently in place that prevents Credit Unions from reaching their potential as a mortgage lender.”

“Since my election last year, I have worked with our Finance Spokesperson, Michael McGrath TD, to keep a focus on the concerns of mortgage holders. All of the instruments available to the Government and the Central Bank must now be used to ensure that Irish mortgage holders receive fair treatment when compared to other EU countries.”

“As I have said in the Dail, the higher mortgage rates in Ireland are taking money out of our local economy and adding to bank profits. I have previously called for an EU approach to securing better rates in Ireland. However, An Post’s entry to the market is welcome news,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.