BoI rate decision 'commercial'

 

The decision by the Bank of Ireland to increase interest rates on credit cards by up to 4 per cent was a commercial one, Taoiseach Enda Kenny told the Dáil today.

He pointed out that the State’s shareholding in the bank was just 15 per cent.

He said the Government would respond to the regulator, “who is completely independent, if the regulator requests more appropriate powers”.

Mr Kenny said: “I don’t like this situation, applicable three or four days before Christmas, but this is a commercial entity and they have made this decision.”

The Taoiseach, who was responding to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, pointed out that the bank had indicated in October that it planned to change its credit card interest rates, effective from today.

Mr Adams said the interest rate hike came at a time when an ESRI report showed the poorest had been most hit by the Budget.

The Louth TD said one woman affected by the interest rate increase had told him her bank had informed her that at current rates, she would not  repay her credit card bill until 2045.

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