Bank of Ireland refuse to pass on ECB interest rate cut despite tax payers’ bail out

BANK of Ireland bosses are still refusing to pass on the European Central Bank’s 0.25 per cent base rate cut.

Despite receiving a hefty bailout from taxpayers, the bank’s bosses are continuing to ignore a call by the Government to change its rates in line with the ECB’s surprise 1.25 per cent rate.

Last night, a BoI spokesman repeated the same statement given on Thursday after AIB’s belated decision to pass the cut on to variable mortgage holders.

He said: ‘All our rates are under constant review.’

Ulster Bank, which has not been bailed out by taxpayers, is also refusing to pass on the reduction.

A spokesman said: ‘We keep all our products and services under continual review, having regard to our cost of funds.

‘Therefore, if the cost of funds goes down we would pass on those rates.’

Because it is not one of the bailed-out banks, Ulster Bank has not attracted as much anger as Bank of Ireland and AIB.

AIB had initially refused to cut rates. But after attending Wednesday’s meeting of the Economic Management Council with Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore, its bosses finally gave in to mounting pressure.

However, there been no contact between officials from Bank of Ireland or Ulster Bank and the Taoiseach since then.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said last night: ‘The arrogance of Bank of Ireland is extraordinary and utterly scandalous.

‘It is a complete outrage that a bank that was bailed out and would not be in existence if it wasn’t for public taxes should still refuse to give taxpayers’ relief.

‘They are only interested in the bottom line.’

Government press secretary Feargal Purcell said: ‘We’ve had the meeting with the banks and it’s down to them to consider it.

‘There has been a very clear message sent from the Government by the Taoiseach to the banks.’