Central Bank wants to make mortgage switching easier

New research shows vast majority of borrowers haven't even considered making a move...

The Central Bank believes that lenders could be doing more to help people who are thinking about switching their mortgage.

The regulator is now considering imposing new rules on banks that would make it easier to move between lenders to reduce the cost of mortgage repayments.

These could include compelling lenders to provide greater clarity on the switching process, including information on time frames and potential costs. Banks would also be required to have dedicated switching staff to help borrowers make a move.

It comes as new research shows that 81% of borrowers haven't even considered moving their mortgage.

Some 44% of respondents think the mortgage switching process would be too complex. 

The Behaviour and Attitudes survey of 2,300 mortgage holders also found that only 4% had opted to move to a new lender, with 6% switching their mortgage product within their existing bank.

Some 37% who had already switched admitted that they accounted additional costs of which they hadn't been made aware.

Last year, the Central Bank reported that some 109,705 people could save money by making a switch.

It will publish a consultation paper in the autumn, proposing various measures banks should take.

Bernard Sheridan, the Central Bank's acting deputy governor, offered this advice to consumers:

"Understand what you're currently on, what you're paying. Look at the options that are available to you – consumerhelp.ie has a lot of very useful information there. Then if you are inclined to switch, go to your lender and your new lender and start the process with them."