Primetime: excessive interest rates

Last night’s Primetime had a well thought out piece on variable interest rates.

The general thesis was that variable rates are ‘too high’ and that banks should not be allowed to charge them, the figure of 1% of a ‘cost of funds’ was mentioned several times and various suggestions were made as to making the banks stop the practice of setting their own prices.

To begin with, the ‘cost of funds’ at 1% may be what a bank buys their raw materials at, but then you have to make more on top of it to allow for operational costs, to provide for losses, regulatory burdens, margin and the like. It is worth noting that in AIB’s interim statement which was only made yesterday that they noted that “Net Interest Margin (NIM), excluding ELG, expanded to c.1.64% year to date (YTD) September 2014”.

This means the idea of 4.5% minus the 1% ‘cost’ equating to a 3.5% ‘profit’ doesn’t stack up. If it did the net interest margin …

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PTsb Overpayment form & is it good value?

There has been some coverage of people saying that the PTsb offer of a discount for overpayment is not good value, that the bonus should instead be in the region of 25%.

I don’t know where that figure has been taken from, having tried to work it out several times we just can’t make it stack up.

The form that you need in order to opt for this over payment is here.

Is the idea of an overpayment any good?

In the PTsb scheme you have to consider ‘net interest’ rather than just stating that it isn’t a great idea. The figures I have done are based on the clients position rather than what the bank may or may not make – in the same way that I don’t query the margin a shopkeeper gets on a Mars bar – which is where some focus has been on this.

Rules of scheme: you can’t pay more than 50% of your mortgage, every 5k gets a …

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