Thursday, January 15, 2009

ECB meeting today

We wait with baited breath. OK, maybe not baited breath, but the ECB meet today and are widely expected to knock another half a percent off the base rate. The Euribor inter-bank rates have been falling for about 65 straight days, and is finally getting down to a more reasonable level.
"Hurrah - good news for Spanish mortgages" I hear you cry. Well, actually the Spanish banks Sdon't seem to be paying much attention to any encouragement to resume anything like normal lending. At the moment we seem to have things like :-

Quoting old or strange Euribor rates or averages, so that new customers end up paying a rate of more than 6% in the first year

Increasing margins so that +1.25 or +1.5% are common

Increasing opening fees to the customer, and cutting broker commissions

Not working with brokers at all

Considering it was their slipshod lending practices that got them into the crap in the first place, and also fuelled the housing market, it seems ironic that they are now strangling the markets themselves. At some point they are going to have to start lending again (for that is how they make their money)

So perhaps they will want some mortgage business from me in the future. They had just better hope that I can still afford luxuries like food and shoes in the meantime........................

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