sky high

Bill proposes giving powers to Central Bank on rates

The Central Bank would be given powers to limit what interest rates banks could charge on variable mortgages, under legislation proposed by Sinn Féin.

The proposed legislation would give the Central Bank new powers to set out the maximum rate of interest that any of the five domestic banks could charge.

This restriction would mean that a new entrant to the market would not be discouraged by fears that their rates might be subject to control.

Sinn Féin has said the Government’s response to high variable rates has not been adequate.

Some 300,000 mortgage holders are paying among the highest variable rates in the eurozone.

The high cost of variables works out at around €300 a month more than the cost for a similar-sized mortgage in the rest of the Eurozone.