Government failing to inform the public about available mortgage savings

Ged Nash TD
29 October 2020
  • Central Bank report published today shows around 100,000 mortgage holders could save over €1 billion in mortgage repayments by switching their mortgage, with available savings of €236 million estimated in the first year.
  • Nash says that the Government is in ‘dereliction of duty’ by failing to inform consumers about the savings available through mortgage switching.
  • Labour calls for a major State backed public information campaign to inform consumers about the savings available.

Reacting to the Central Bank report setting out that over €1 billion could be saved by the public through mortgage switching, Labour Finance Spokesperson Ged Nash TD said that the Government was in dereliction of duty by failing to do anything to inform the public about the savings available from mortgage switching.

Deputy Nash said:  

“The numbers in today’s Central Bank report are incredible. Around 112,000 mortgage accounts with the 5 main lenders could save over €1,000 in the first year by switching, and 98,000 could save at least €10,000 over the term of the mortgage. That means there is at least €1 billion in mortgage savings out there for the public, with over €236 million available to be saved by the public in the first year alone.

“These are massive savings that families can make on what is almost always the largest monthly bill that has to be paid, and it is just not acceptable that the Government is doing absolutely nothing to inform the public about the savings that are out there.

“This is not the first time that the Central Bank has pointed out that there are large numbers of people who could save considerable amounts of money by switching their mortgage. As far back as 2015, the Central Bank published research showing how much people could save by switching their mortgage. In the interim, the Government has done absolutely nothing to inform the public about how much savings there are out there.

“I am particularly concerned about the research finding that ‘those with lower levels of financial literacy and education are more likely to exhibit a high degree of inhibition to switching. Notably, this high inhibition category includes a higher share of first-time borrowers, and borrowers who took out mortgages during the peak years of the housing boom.’ This means that the Government and other state agencies are failing in their duties to inform consumers, and particularly consumers with lower levels of financial literacy, about the options for savings available to them.”

“We in Labour are calling for the Government to launch a major state backed public information campaign to inform the public about the savings available to them, through TV, radio, online and print advertising. With over €1 billion up for grabs, such a campaign has the potential to save the public massive amounts of money, at relatively little expense to the Exchequer. It is high time the public started getting value for money from the banks, given how high our mortgage rates are compared to the rest of Europe.”  

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