Bank of Ireland has launched a range of new mortgages available to customers in negative equity.
The bank said the new mortgages are in line with Central Bank guidelines, and will allow greater numbers of customers, that are in negative equity, to move home.
Customers will undergo a full assessment, the bank and must demonstrate that they can afford the new mortgage.
The mortgages will be offered in two forms - one for those in negative equity who wish to move to a property of a higher value, and one for those who wish to dispose of their current home and move to a home of lower value.
The Trade Up Negative Equity loan will enable customers who are in negative equity to sell their current home and move to a higher value property, carrying over an amount of negative equity to the new mortgage.
The Trade Down Negative Equity will enable customers who are in negative equity to sell their current home and move to a lower value property, while carrying an amount of negative equity to the new mortgage.
Jonathan Byrne, head of mortgages at Bank of Ireland, speaking on Morning Ireland, said that the new products have been agreed with the Central Bank. He said that 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, but that 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 those.
He pointed out that it is not going to be the only solution available, and that this would not allow for any debt relief.
With regard to tracker mortgages, he said that for customers trading up, that 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.