Mortgage holders should be alert to changes in mortgage interest relief

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) has today advised mortgage holders to be alert to changes in mortgage interest relief which start coming into effect from tomorrow, 1 May, and which could impact on them.

This arises from the Minister for Finance’s announcement in the Supplementary Budget 2009 to commence phasing out over time mortgage interest relief. Known as Tax Relief at Source (TRS), this relief is applied to customers’ accounts by mortgage lenders on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners.

From 1 May 2009 such relief will only be available in respect of interest paid over the first seven years of a qualifying loan on a person’s home. The Revenue Commissioners advise that, where customers are no longer eligible for TRS, it will be ceased and the relief will no longer apply. Full details about TRS entitlement are available from the special section on ‘Mortgage Interest Relief’ on the Revenue Commissioners website at http://www.revenue.ie.

Mortgage lenders are now required by the Revenue Commissioners to implement this change and are working with the Revenue to this end. Customers are advised to monitor and manage the account from which their mortgage repayments are made.

Note: Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Felix O’Regan, IBF Head of PR and Public Affairs, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644

IBF Statement on Government Measures in Support of the Banking System

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) welcomes the announcement by the Government today to establish the National Asset Management Agency to acquire certain assets from banks with the objective of strengthening their balance sheets and freeing up capital to support sustainable economic activity.

IBF also welcomes the Government’s stated intention to put a State guarantee in place for the future issuance of debt securities with a maturity of up to five years. While directly important for the institutions covered in terms of their ability to secure longer-term funding, this initiative is equally important in supporting the funding requirements of businesses and consumers.

We look forward to the early publication of further details on each of these initiatives and to working with banks and the Government to give effect to these measures.

Note to Journalists 
The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Consumers banking online in ever-increasing numbers

  • Some 2.2m customers now registered for online banking
  • Over 30m payments made online in 2008

The number of consumers using online banking continues to increase significantly, according to new statistics published today in the IBF/IPSO Online Personal Banking Report. The growth in popularity of online banking is reflected in the 2.2 million customers now registered to conduct their banking business online – a 27.8% increase between 2007 and 2008. Furthermore, the increase is consistently strong with 100,000 new customers having registered in each of the past eight quarters, to end 2008.

The increase in usage over the same period is even more pronounced, with a 31.6% rise in the number of online payments to 30.7 million – equivalent to 84,000 per day; while a 33.6% increase to 123 million was recorded in the number of times customers accessed their account balances online.

“Online banking is facilitating the migration from cheques and other paper-based payment methods to electronic payments,” according to Una Dillon, IPSO’s Head of Card Services and Communications. “The move to electronic payments is vital in ensuring Ireland’s competitiveness and efficiency within the wider European market and is a key objective of the National Payments Programme which is supported by the Department of Finance.”

According to IBF Chief Executive, Pat Farrell, the development of the IBF/IPSO Online Personal Banking Report, and its publication on a quarterly basis, provides a valuable insight into usage trends in online banking here. “We can see from the data compiled to date that online banking is on a significant growth path in Ireland. Comparative figures for 2007 show that the average user here made 14% more online payments and 20% more online enquiries than his/her UK counterpart. However, in a leading online adopter like Norway the average customer made around three times more payments online – indicating that there is considerable scope for further growth. A range of financial institutions here provide a wide choice of online banking services to facilitate this growth and are continuing to invest in and expand the range of services available.”

Note to Journalists 
The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the leading representative body for the banking and financial services sector in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

The Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO) is the representative body for and guardian of the payments industry in Ireland.
Further Information: Felix O’Regan, Head of PR and Public Affairs, IBF, tel. 6715311, 087 6481644