It looked like something was going on at Halifax Ireland when they recently raised mortgage rates for Irish customers whilst ECB rate were falling .
It was widely reported last week that Antoinette Dunne – the head of retail banking for Halifax Ireland had resigned. Now there have been reports in the Sunday Tribune that Bank of Scotland Ireland (BOSI) is going to shut down Halifax altogether in Ireland from September 2009.
BOSI is now part of the Lloyds TSB group – which is now 43% owned by the UK State. It looks like they may have had instructions from the UK treasury to cease lending in Ireland .
Apparently the bank is planning to formally announce the plans at the end of August .
Halifax Ireland first opened in January 2006 after BOSI acquired the old ESB shop network. Halifax did well in Ireland by introducing tracker mortgages, interest paying current accounts and 0% interest on credit cards. They also offered evening and Saturday openings – still unheard of in most Irish banks.
It is unclear what will happen to current borrowers or account holders with Halifax in Ireland. As soon as there is more information – it will be posted here.