Bank of Ireland has launched a range of new mortgages available to customers in negative equity.

The bank says the new mortgages are in line with Central Bank guidelines and will allow greater numbers of customers, who are in negative equity, to move home.

Customers will undergo a full assessment, says the bank, and must demonstrate that they can afford the new mortgage.

The majority of those who are currently on tracker mortgages will lose them.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the bank's head of mortgages Jonathan Byrne said 50% of the bank's residential mortgages were in negative equity.

He said the new products were not aimed at all of those in negative equity.

He said customer feedback had indicated that there were customers of the bank who needed to move, perhaps because of a new job, or because of a growing family, and that these products could cater for some of them.

He said that for customers trading up, they would not be in a position to bring their tracker interest rate with them.

With regard to some of the customers trading down, the bank had agreed with the Central Bank that retaining the tracker rate was allowed, but to be decided on a case-by-case basis for those customers in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process.