FURIOUS homeowners enraged by Permanent TSB's interest rate hike have been contacting mortgage brokers seeking to switch their loans.
The Irish Brokers Association (IBA) said their members had been getting calls from angry mortgage holders after Permanent TSB's decision to hike its variable rate by 0.5pc last week.
"Our members have received a volume of calls from concerned mortgage holders looking for advice on the back of this rate rise," said Paul Kinane, Chairman of the IBA's Finance Committee.
"Those clients directly impacted are enraged, with some requesting that we look at all options, including transferring to another lender. Switching is difficult in the current climate, but it is possible for those in certain employments with reasonable loan-to-value ratios."
Customers with other mortgage institutions were concerned that the practice of double-charging variable rate customers to make up for the money banks were losing on tracker mortgages would spread, Mr Kinane said.
Permanent TSB said that they had taken a lot of angry calls from customers over the interest rate hike, but people were not seeking to switch because they were still significantly cheaper than most competitors.
"There have been a lot of calls to our helpline that have expressed anger and disappointment, but we have explained why we are doing this, and we have not had people seeking to leave as we still remain competitive," a spokesman said.
Any customer who wished to switch was entitled to do, and the only charge from Permanent TSB to variable rate customers who wished to leave them was a €35 redemption fee for administration costs, which had always been in place, he said, while fixed rate customers might also face an exit fee for early redemption.
The Financial Regulator said it had not had an increase in calls about mortgage switching in recent days.
AIB, one of Permanent TSB's main mortgage rivals, said it had not noticed any upsurge in inquiries about switching.
One financial analyst said banks were reluctant to take on new business, adding "you'd probably have to be a couple both working in the public service and with less than 50pc loan to value ratio on your home to qualify" for a switch-over.
Meanwhile over 6,000 people have signed up to a campaign to oppose the rate hikes.
The Irish People's Union was set up on Monday by musician Dave Browne, who was incensed over Permanent TSB's rate hike, and has a website at www.irishpeoplesunion.com.
THE IRISH INDEPENDENT, Aidan Sheehan - Consumer Correspondent