by Mark Johnston
The Bank of Ireland is one of the ‘Big Four’ in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Historically the bank used to be the premier bank in Ireland but has been overtaken by Allied Irish banks. Although not to be confused with the Central Bank of Ireland, which is the Irish central bank. The Bank of Ireland does have a unique place in Irish banking history. The old bank of Ireland is an ancient institution which was established by Royal Charter back in 1783.
Today the banking group based in Dublin operates in both Ireland and the united Kingdom although their asset management operation works in a number of destinations worldwide including Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. Between February 2007 and March 2009, Bank of Ireland shares dropped from 18 Euros to 0.12 Euros, effectively wiping 99% of the banks value. These massive losses were as a result of the banks exposure to the crashing Irish property market. Bank of Ireland had large exposures to property developers in their loan portfolio, as these developers started to fold, Bank of Ireland sustained loss after loss.
Following a rescue package from the Irish Government, Bank of Ireland is starting to look forward and recover. They have a wide range of mortgages available and have still managed to stay competitive. Whether its fixed rate or home build, Bank of Ireland seem to have it covered.
The Banks ‘1st Start’ mortgage is marketed to help first time buyers onto the property market. It allows borrowers to use a sponsor such as a family member of close relative to help secure a mortgage.1st start mortgages allow first time buyers to borrow up to 95% of the value of the property. The fixed rate version is 5.99% over 2 years which works out at a competitive 4.5% APR. the arrangement fees are reasonable at £399 too. The Irish bank also offers a variable mortgage on the same terms which currently works out at 4.00% which is 3.5% plus the Bank of England Base rate which is currently 0.5%.
If you are looking to stay in you existing home but would like to fix your monthly repayments then their ‘EasySwitch’ may be the mortgage for you. The EasySwitch comes in three different loan to value rates. The first has a 75% Loan to Value (LTV) at 3.95% for the fixed or 4.00% for the variable (3.5% plus the Bank of England Base) both are 4.1% APR. The second is the 85% loan to value (LTV) mortgage which works out as 4.95% fixed and 4.00% Variable APR 4.3%. The final EasySwitch mortgage is for those with smaller deposits as it has a loan to value (LTV) of 90% at 5.99% for the fixed and 4.00% for the variable.
Those who are already on the property ladder but are looking to move house can take advantage of a residential mortgage. 75% loan to value (LTV) is 2.99% variable APR 3.1% with a £799 arrangement fee. The 85% loan to value (LTV) version is 3.95% (4.1% APR). Whilst the 09% loan to value mortgage is 5.59%.
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