Brian Hayes MEP today welcomed new proposals from the European Commission which explore how EU citizens can have greater access to mortgage products in other Member States. An unreleased Green paper from the Commission examines how obstacles can be removed for consumers to have greater access to financial services products in other jurisdictions in the EU.
“It is welcome that the Commission is looking at ways to remove obstacles for citizens so they have access to cheaper financial products and a greater choice.”
“There’s no reason why the EU couldn’t have a well-developed internal market for mortgages. Currently, we have huge divergences in mortgage products between Member States. Irish customers still face rip-off prices for variable mortgages. The average variable mortgage rate in Ireland is 4.18%, almost 2% higher than the Eurozone average. In Germany or France, for example, you can get long-term fixed interest mortgage for less than 3%. If we’re part of an internal EU market, why shouldn’t Irish customers be able to get a mortgage from a German or French bank?”
“The Commission has said that only 3 percent of consumers in the EU have availed of a mortgage, credit card or insurance product in another member state.
“The EU’s internal market does not work properly when it comes to buying financial services products. Consumers are forced to buy products such as mortgages in their own Member State because the obstacles are too great to shop around in other Member States.
“The Commission estimates that more market convergence on mortgage interest rates could bring about savings up to €63 billion per year for consumers all across the EU.”