Angry mortgage holders have attacked PTSB at its annual general meeting for their higher-than-average interest rates with some protesting that they felt like “prisoners” in their own homes.

A series of home loan customers attacked the fact the bank hiked standard variable rates on mortgage as the country slid into recession.

Permanent TSB's variable interest rate is currently at 4.69% - compared to rivals who charge around 3%. This is despite a 0.5% reduction following pressure from customers.

The rates are significantly higher than many other lenders and substantially higher than tracker rates.

Mortgage holder Karen Donohue called on customers to withdraw credit card business and deposits from PTSB in protest at high rates.

Stop squeezing every euro out of me

Another home loan customer Conor McNally said his family suffered terribly as a result mortgage rates.

He added "stop squeezing every euro you can out of me. Many customers have wiped out savings to keep up with mortgages. The Government has already milked us."

Customer Sarah Hogan said she felt like a prisoner trapped by Permanent TSB's rates.

Chairman Alan Cook said the bank had cut rates and would take more action but he could not say when they would happen.

The bank's management confirmed staff at the company faced further job losses.

During today's AGM in Dublin, Irish Life and Permanent's chairman Alan Cook told shareholders at the company's AGM that the IMF/EU Troika discussions included the possibility of the closure of Permanent TSB.

He said it was finally decided that it should be a stand alone bank.