MORTGAGE cashback offers look set to be banned in a move that would hit first-time buyers and switchers hard.
Banks have been accused of using cashback incentives to camouflage their exorbitant mortgage rates.
Now a Fianna Fáil bill that will ban the practice of banks offering cash incentives to first- time buyers and movers could be law by the summer.
The Central Bank and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission are also both opposed to cashback offers, as they see them as a device by banks to avoid cutting interest rates.
Mortgage rates in this country are a multiple of those paid by borrowers in the rest of the eurozone.
Banks, including Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB and EBS, offer cashback of 2pc of the value of the mortgage drawn down to switchers and first-time buyers.
This works out at €2,000 for every €100,000 borrowed.
Separately, it emerged that fast-track planning applications for the development of more than 4,000 new homes will be decided within weeks.
Charlie Weston and Ronald Quinlan