Deputy Doherty: Government must force banks to pass on rate cuts

National Irish Bank is defending its decision to hike variable mortgage interest rates by almost one per cent.

NIB says it has not increased variable charges since 2008 - and says it is not obliged to pass on European Central Bank rate cuts - as it does not rely on ECB funding.

The move is in direct defiance of calls from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield.

Sinn Fein's Finance spokesperson - Pearse Doherty - says the Government needs to step in to prevent banks increasing mortgage repayments:

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