Two State-owned banks have cut the returns being paid to savers.

AIB and Permanent TSB have taken advertisements in newspapers this morning illustrating the new rates.

Permanent TSB has cut rates by up to 0.4% across a range of products.

AIB has reduced rates by 0.5% on its Direct Deposit Access, which is closed to new customers.

It has cut the return by up to 0.3% on a range of other products.

The European Central Bank lowered its main lending rate to 0.05% in September 2014 in response to weaker economic conditions in the euro zone.

When retail banks reduce their deposit rates it has the effect of boosting their profit margins.

Central Bank graph on household loan & deposit interest rates