Online mortgage broker MyMortgages.ie has said the switching market is "exploding", with the company reporting a 39% increase in their own levels of switching activity over the last 12 months.

The figures tally with recent statistics from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, which show switching volumes were up 42% in February compared to the same time last year.

MyMortgages.ie said there are a few main reasons why more people are looking to switch, including the exit of KBC and Ulster Bank from the Irish market, a sharp increase in competition, and increased awareness around the possibility of rate rises from the European Central Bank.

Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit at MyMortgages.ie said they expect the volume of switching activity to ramp up to an "unprecedented" level as the year progresses.

"No-one knows when the ECB will increase their rates but the general consensus is that rises are on the horizon - we might well see two or three between this year and next," he said.

"Although we always advise consumers to review their mortgage every three years or so, mortgage holders are more in tune with their finances than ever before," he added.

Mr Sheahan said this heightened activity in the switcher market is a positive development.

"It means mortgage holders are wising up to the fact that there are huge savings to be made - and it's not that hard to do it.

"If you get the right help - it’s not hard at all," he said.