Irish banks ease up on cross border mortgage black-out

Some Irish banks have loosened restrictions on lending to house-hunters paid in Sterling.
Some Irish banks have loosened restrictions on lending to house-hunters paid in Sterling.

Irish Banks have “rowed back” on a controversial move to cancel mortgage lending to house-hunters paid in Sterling, it’s emerged.

Lenders in the Republic had withdrawn all mortgage services to people paid in non-euro currency following the introduction of a new EU directive in March.

The banks’ axing of what are classed as ‘foreign currency mortgages’ left cross-border workers who receive sterling payment with no borrowing options to buy new homes in the Republic.

Lenders refused to entertain applications from those seeking such mortgages in recent weeks, citing the introduction of the European Mortgage Credit Directive.

However, several major lenders have now “loosened the restriction”, according to a Letterkenny-based financial adviser.

Pascal Curran, from Advice First Financial, says: “It’s fantastic news for many house-hunters living in the south and working in the North that at least some lenders are offering what were classed as ‘foreign currency mortgages’ once again.”

However, lending criteria, he says, is stricter than it was previously.

“Although the situation appears much less bleak than it did several weeks ago, these loans are still much harder to get as a result of the new directive,” he added.