Bank of Ireland has become the latest lender to increase its standard variable rate, increasing it from 2.99% to 4.49%. Bank of Ireland has notified customers of its intention to increase the SVR on its UK residential mortgage book by 1.5%. This change will be implemented in two stages and will affect 100,000 of its customers. From June 2012, the SVR will increase by 1% from 2.99% to 3.99% and then from September 2012, the SVR will increase by a further 0.5% from 3.99%to 4.49%. The bank says the cost of funding mortgages has increased significantly for UK lenders in recent years and for this reason, it is necessary for the bank to increase its SVR. In a letter to customers, the bank says if borrowers wish to review their mortgage as a result of the increase they can contact their local broker, or alternatively, the bank has arranged for London & Country to provide them with a free no obligation mortgage review. Last week Halifax announced that it was increasing its SVR from 3.50% to 3.99% on May 1, affecting some 850,000 customers.