Cash back deals: are banks manipulating borrowers?

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) warned lenders last month about their use of cashback deals and loyalty discounts. The commission believes that such incentives may be detrimental to consumers and may reflect unhealthy competition in the mortgage market.

 

Cash back deals have become more and more common in the market in recent years. These deals work by giving borrowers a certain percentage of their total mortgage amount back at the start of their loan, and they mostly target first time buyers who may need the extra money on hand to furnish their homes or to tide them through a tough transitional time in life.

 

A quick look around the market reveals that major lenders, such as AIB, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, EBS and KBC, all have similar cash back deals, mostly ranging from 2-3% or €1500-€2000. The catch on these loans however, is that interest rates on them are often higher than the average on traditional loans. This means that over the term of the loan, extra interest paid  may turn out to be much …

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