Permanent TSB has announced a new initiative today that will allow homeowners on a tracker mortgage to move the loan to a new property and pay a slight premium on the tracker rate.

The lender has also said that it will allow customers in negative equity to trade up or down. 

Up to now, Permanent TSB customers on a tracker rate could not keep their tracker if they sold their house and bought a new one.

The bank said it now recognises that this policy is restricting customers from moving house or trading up or down.

Under its new initiative, PTSB customers with tracker mortgages will be able to keep a tracker interest rate to finance a new mortgage. This rate will continue for the full term outstanding on their current tracker.

The bank said the new rate will have an additional charge of 1% above their current tracker interest rate. 

While other banks have announced similar initiatives, Permanent TSB says that it is the only bank where its customers can avail of a tracker interest rate for the rest of the mortgage's scheduled term. 

PTSB has also said that qualifying customers in negative equity can sell their homes and buy a new one by transferring the negative equity on their former property to their new one. 

It said that limits will apply to the amount that customers can borrow in the event of trading down or trading up.

"This is a breakthrough initiative designed to open up the mortgage market for a segment of customers who have been effectively excluded for the past five years," commented the bank's chief executive Jeremy Masding.

"It reflects our determination to find solutions that can help the market function better and that are fair to both customer and bank," he added.