at a variable interest rate of 4%! Mortgage market shake-up: Credit unions set to challenge banks and open up market The average interest rate on the mortgages will be a variable 4pc, which is considered high compared with some of the rates in the market. Project manager for the league's mortgage Ciaran Mahon defended the rate, saying it compared favourably with the variables offered by Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB. "We are not expensive compared with Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB," he said. "We are pricey compared with AIB's 3.2pc variable, that is true, but we are not setting out to be the cheapest." Nine credit unions are already offering the new mortgage product, including those in Westport, Birr, Mullingar, Douglas and the St Paul's Garda, and the St Joseph's Irish Airports credit unions. Five more lenders have signed up, and it is hoped 60 credit unions will offer the loans in the next year or two.