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Spanish bank rules out entry into Irish mortgage market

Spanish bank rules out entry into Irish mortgage market

Spanish lender Bankinter has ruled out moving into the Irish mortgage market, at least in the short term.

The news will dampen expectations that it would link up with An Post to offer cut-price loans to property buyers. And following an announcement from semi-State company last week that it wants to move into the mortgage market by undercutting the existing offering by as much as 1 per cent, speculation had been mounting that it would partner with Bankinter.

The Madrid-headquartered bank, Spain’s sixth largest lender, acquired Irish credit card and personal loans provider Avantcard last week for an undisclosed sum.

Bankinter was regarded as an obvious potential partner for An Post, given that Avantcard already operates a credit card partnership with the State-owned postal group. The Spanish lender offers mortgages fixed for 20 years at a rate of just 1.99 per cent in its home market,

However, a spokesman for the Spanish bank said its goals in moving into the Irish market are firmly concentrated on smaller personal loans.