Lenders ‘ignore rate cuts’

Banks were today accused of profiteering from homeowners during the recession, as it emerged that the average interest charged on variable-rate mortgages is 4.2 per cent higher than the Bank of England’s base rate.

The average Standard Variable Rate mortgage now charges interest rates of 4.7 per cent, down only one per cent over the past year – when the base rate fell by 2.5 per cent. Vera Cottrell from consumer watchdog Which? said the variable rate market was ‘raising serious concerns‘.

She said: ‘Lenders are getting away with charging very high mortgage rates right now, many have an incredibly high margin between base rate and the interest being charged. That’s offering consumers a poor deal.’