Mortgage lender KBC Bank is set to become the first bank in five years to allow people to move their mortgage to it.
According to today’s Irish Independent, the Belgian-owned bank will pay €1,000 towards the legal costs of homeowners moving their mortgage and pay for a year’s home insurance as part of the deal.
The bank claims that some borrowers who switch to it could save up to €1,500 a year in repayments.
KBC gave an example of a homeowner on a 4.8pc variable rate with their current lender.
This person owes €140,000. They could save €1,525 a year if it they qualified to switch to KBC’s 3.85pc rate.
This rate would be available if the homeowner’s mortgage is 60pc or less than the value of the house.
During the boom, banks competed with each other to try and entice people to switch their mortgages, but the downturn meant the switcher market died.
KBC Bank, which is the only one in the country opening branches, claims its mortgage rates are the most competitive in the market.
The bank is also expanding by offering some of the highest interest rates on deposits and attempting to get thousands of people to move their current accounts. It has one of the lowest costing current accounts in the market.
The new switcher mortgage will only apply to those whose home is worth more than their mortgage. This will rule out the estimated half of mortgage holders who are in negative equity.
Buy-to-let mortgages are also ineligible.