Over 12,000 mortgages drawn down during the third quarter of 2009

  • First-time buyers now account for 30% all new mortgages
  • 1 in every 2 mortgages taken out by home purchaser segments

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile published today shows that 12,189 new mortgages to the value of some €2.1 billion were issued during the third quarter of 2009. While the figures show a reduction in overall activity of 3.9% from the previous quarter and 56.4% year on year, they also show that the number of mortgages issued to first-time buyers (FTBs) has increased for the second successive quarter. The following are among the key features of the Q3 2009 data:
First-time buyers’ (FTB) share of the overall market continues to increase and now stands at 35.6% by value and 29.8% by volume. This means that almost one in every three new mortgages now goes to a first-time buyer.
The key home purchaser segments of the market – FTBs and Mover Purchasers – together now account for almost two-thirds (64%) of the market by value and 50% by volume. This means that one in every two new mortgages now goes to the home purchasing segment.
Mortgages for residential investment letting purchases continued to decline in both absolute and market share terms.

Commenting on the data, IBF Chief Executive, Pat Farrell, stated: 
“While the overall level of mortgage lending in Q3 shows little change from the previous quarter, the rate of decline in activity that has been so evident over recent quarters now appears to be moderating. Significantly, we have seen an increase of nearly 500 over the previous quarter in the number of mortgages issued to first-time buyers and this important segment continues to build market share. Not surprisingly, the investment end of the market continues to decline.”
The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile can be viewed here.

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.

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

IBF Mortgage Lenders Pledge to Help Homeowners Facing Difficulty with their Mortgage Repayments

The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) has today published a Statement of Intent as a further reassurance to homeowners who find themselves genuinely unable to maintain mortgage repayments on their principal private residence.

Agreed and supported by IBF mortgage lenders (see list below), the Statement of Intent reads as follows.

“All mortgage lenders who are members of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) are fully committed to working with customers who are facing repayment difficulties in their principal private residence due to changed economic circumstances. While it is important to always make the distinction between customers who are unable to pay their mortgage and those who are unwilling to pay, IBF mortgage lenders have as their goal to work with their customers who face genuine difficulties in order to find solutions that do not involve legal action. The basis for such solutions is for the customer to talk to his/her lender at the earliest opportunity so that a mutually-acceptable arrangement can be agreed, implemented and reviewed thereafter on a six-monthly basis. Provided the customer maintains this arrangement, IBF mortgage lenders will not initiate any form of legal action against them in relation to their mortgage. An IBF Oversight Committee, with representation from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS), will monitor the application of this Statement of Intent.”

This latest IBF initiative comes on top of the existing protection provided to homeowners by the statutory Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (which builds on the original IBF voluntary code).

Under the Code: 
Lenders must adopt flexible procedures for handling mortgage arrears and assist the borrower as far as possible – whereby consideration can be given on a case-by-case basis to deferral of payments, extending term of mortgage, changing type of mortgage, or capitalising arrears and interest.
Lenders must wait at least 6 months (12 months for the two recapitalised banks) from the time of arrears first arising before applying to the court to commence legal action for repossession.

Figures compiled by IBF confirm that house repossession remains at a low level here. The total number of houses repossessed by all mainstream mortgage lenders in the first half of 2009 was 70 – of which 49 were voluntary or abandoned and 21 stemmed from the legal process. This is a fraction of the total number of mortgages issued.

“Our sector is acutely aware of the pressures facing some homeowners in the current economic environment”, states IBF’s Chief Executive, Pat Farrell. “Where repayment difficulties arise for some borrowers because of changed economic or social circumstances, the borrower should talk to his/her lender at the earliest opportunity. The importance and value of early communication between borrowers and lenders cannot be emphasised enough. Just as in the IBF/MABS Protocol on Debt Management, our members are saying that they want to explore all possible options with their customers; they want to find a mutually-acceptable arrangement as an alternative to legal action.”

Notes: 
The following IBF mortgage lenders have agreed to and support the ‘Statement of Intent’
ACC Bank
AIB Bank
Anglo Irish Bank
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Scotland (Ireland)
EBS Building Society
Irish Nationwide Building Society
KBC Bank Ireland
Leeds Building Society
National Irish Bank
Permanent tsb
Ulster Bank

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.

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

Financial Institutions, Gardaí and Police launch new Consumer Guide to Fraud Prevention

Be Aware, Beat Fraud is the apt title of a new consumer guide to fraud prevention which was jointly launched in Dublin today by the banks and the police forces north and south of the border.

Produced by the Irish Banking Federation (IBF), the Irish Payment Services Organisation (IPSO), An Garda Síochána and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the guide includes the key warning signs that consumers should be on the lookout for and the steps they should take to best protect themselves against fraudsters, including online, card-based, ATM and identity fraud.

Speaking at the launch of the Guide, IBF’s Paul O’Connor stated: “This straightforward, comprehensive guide will enable customers to safeguard against fraud arising in the financial services they use. Through a better understanding of the different types of fraud that can arise and by following the simple, practical advice provided in this guide, customers can be more vigilant in protecting their interests.”

Garda Assistant Commissioner, Michael Feehan, advised that fraud is not confined to the business environment. “Each and every day, fraudsters by their dishonest actions ruin people’s self respect and lives by deceiving them through the activities this guide describes. We must all – the individual, the Garda Síochána and the financial industry – play a role in preventing fraud by acting on the excellent advice this guide offers us.”

Dave Jones, Assistant Chief Constable of the PSNI added: “Fraud can take many forms and is often perceived to be a victimless crime. This is not the case. While it can mean a significant financial loss for companies and organisations, it can also have an impact on individuals, family and friends.”

The guide provides consumers with a host of useful tips. For example, for Online Security consumers are advised to always remember the following.

  • Install a reliable anti-spyware application
  • Ensure the application is kept up to date
  • Activate a firewall
  • Be security conscious when surfing and downloading
  • Only down load from sites you trust
  • Read security information before you download software
  • Any unsolicited request for bank account information you receive through pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.

And on Identity Fraud, the clear and sensible advice is to remember to:

  • Lock all valuable documents in a secure place
  • Shred unwanted documents – old utility bills, credit card receipts
  • Inform all service providers promptly when moving address
  • Set up a mail forwarding arrangement with An Post/the Post Office
  • Never give your PIN number to anyone
  • Check your credit report with a credit reference service.

The Be Aware, Beat Fraud guide is freely available in branches of participating financial institutions (see list below) and on their websites; and also in Garda and Police stations.

Note to Journalists

The participating institutions are: AIB, An Post, Anglo Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, EBS Building Society, First Trust Bank, First Active, Halifax, Irish Nationwide Building Society, National Irish Bank, Permanent TSB, Postbank and Ulster Bank.
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.