Northern Ireland South West

RLA writes to Bank of Ireland CEO about ‘hefty hike’ of tracker rate

Written by RLA

The RLA has written to Richie Boucher, the Bank of Ireland’s chief executive, to express its concern at the bank’s “hefty hike” of its UK tracker rate…

The RLA has written to Richie Boucher, the Bank of Ireland’s chief executive, to express its concern at the bank’s “hefty hike” of its UK tracker rate.

The Bank of Ireland recently wrote to its buy-to-let mortgage customers, informing them that the tracker rate on their mortgages would increase to 4.49 per cent above the Bank of England base rate with effect from May.

In his letter to Mr. Boucher, Alan Ward (above), chairman of the RLA, wrote, “We have been contacted by members who are going to be hit hard by your decision to implement this above-inflation and disproportionate increase. All those members who have contacted us believe that it makes a mockery of the whole concept of a ‘tracker rate’.”

Alan continued, “We are extremely disturbed that conscientious landlords, who are customers of the Bank of Ireland and your division Bristol & West, will find the sharp increase unfeasible – leading to the increased potential for defaults and repossessions.

“Many of the landlords affected will have had hitherto excellent credit ratings; and, whilst we are more than aware that interest rates go up as well as down, this hefty hike in the tracker rate will effectively leave them financially high and dry.”

Alan also raised the issue of tenants facing homelessness because of the bank’s actions, “What will be the fate of tenants caught up in the circumstances caused by repossessions?”

With the private rented sector the only area of housing currently growing, Alan questioned the Bank of Ireland’s lack of ambition to support this burgeoning sector, and wrote, “We are concerned that the Bank of Ireland does not recognise the potential of the private rented sector; and, instead of pursuing short-term targets, should consider the long-term benefits of encouraging a growing sector of the housing industry.”

Alan concluded, by urging Mr. Boucher, to “reconsider” the bank’s decision, welcoming an “opportunity to discuss this matter with you in person at a mutually convenient time.”

Further information

About the author



The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) represents the interests of landlords in the private rented sector (PRS) across England and Wales. With over 23,000 subscribing members, and an additional 16,000 registered guests who engage regularly with the association, we are the leading voice of private landlords. Combined, they manage almost half a million properties.


  • Well done Alan Ward! Why should landlords pay for the bank of irelands failure? Thankfully I am not one of their customers but i fear my bank may follow this example.

  • Wrong on every level and surely excluding Irish customers constitutes some form of discrimination! I am a customer although not affected as I took my loans out after they removed these unfair terms. If only it was easier to move I would do straight away regardless; this company clearly cannot be trusted. Also how is it all of these bankers are called Richie…

  • Got a tracker mortgage with Bristol & West at 1.25% but not received any notification of any change to interest rate.
    Bank of Ireland is in eurozone so after what has happened in Cyprus it might be wise to keep clear of them.

  • I’m a customer of theirs and couldn’t believe it when they wrote to me with the announcement. It’s an absolute scandal that they conduct their business that way. I was fortunate enough to be able to pay a partial redemption and shorten the term, but i feel for those who are getting stung. Wouldn’t go near this lender again

  • they are also lending through the post office at rates a lot lower how?i thought the main reasons for the increase were high borrowing costs and the need to build a larger reserve.i hope the post office knows what its doing,i also hope the R.L.A puts its weight beind its members concerns, as i am sure it will.

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes, the RLA will be doing all it can to support members’ interests, and we are currently working on our next step.

      Best wishes,

      RLA Campaigns

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.