November Mortgage Approvals Figures Published by IBF

The latest figures from the IBF Mortgage Approvals Report, published by IBF, show that 1,852 mortgages to the value of €334 million were approved by lenders here during the month of November.

This brings to 15,601 the total number of approvals for house purchases in the year to date, which represents an increase of 5.8% compared to the same period in 2012.

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 1,852 mortgages were approved in November, of which 1,716 (92%) were for house purchase.
  • The number of mortgages approved fell 1.4% on a monthly basis (from October 2013) and fell by 7.9% on an annual basis (from November 2012).
  • The value of mortgages approved in October was €334m of which €319m (95%) was for house purchase.
  • The value of mortgage approvals fell by 3.8% on a monthly basis and by 3.5% on an annual basis.

The following graph presents the trend in approvals on a monthly basis since November 2011.

Monthly approvals Nov 13

This graph presents the cumulative year to date trend in mortgage approvals up to November each year.

YTD approvals Nov 13

Commenting on the figures, IBF Chief Executive, Noel Brett stated:

“The figures for November confirm the monthly volatility that is a pattern of mortgage market activity at various times over the year.  More significantly, activity for the year as a whole to date continues to show improvement over the previous year with 15,601 mortgages approved so far.  The indications are that this growth trend will be evident in the end-of-year figures.”

Data collection for the IBF Mortgage Approvals Report began in August 2012 covering the period from January 2011 onwards in respect of the market’s main mortgage lenders. The report can be viewed on the IBF website here.

Note: The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the principal voice of 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: Nuala Buttner, Q4 PR, tel 085 1744275

New President Appointed at Irish Banking Federation

AIB Chief Executive, David Duffy, Appointed President of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF)

AIB Chief Executive Officer, David Duffy, has been appointed President of the Irish Banking Federation (IBF) for a two-year term from 1st January 2014. He succeeds John Reynolds and, as President, will also sit on the Board of the Brussels-based European Banking Federation of which IBF is a member.

David is currently CEO of AIB Group and brings a wealth of experience to the role of IBF President. Educated at Terenure College and Trinity College Dublin, his banking career spans almost three decades in America, Asia and Europe.

Prior to taking on the role of CEO at AIB in December 2011, David held various senior roles, including CEO of Standard Bank PLC/Standard Bank International; Head of Global Wholesale Banking Network at ING Group; President and Chief Executive Officer of the ING franchises in the US and Latin America and a number of senior roles with Goldman Sachs International.

“I am very honoured to be appointed President of the IBF and I look forward to working closely with Ireland’s banks and financial services institutions at this critical time. The emergence of a strong and soundly-based financial sector is imperative to underpinning our economic recovery and I will be supporting the IBF’s Chief Executive, Noel Brett and his team, in their efforts to position the IBF in a central role as part of that recovery”, David said.

“We are seeing the first signs of a sustainable turnaround in the economy and, during my two-year Presidency, the IBF and I will work constructively with all our customers and stakeholders to advance that recovery through increased business and mortgage lending, debt reform and resolving the arrears issue for mortgage holders and SMEs”, he added.

EMIR Briefing – 10th December 2013

Gavin Purtill, IBF, Derek Flannagan, DTCC, Fiona Syer, Deloitte and Giuseppe Insalaco, Central Bank of Ireland pictured at the EMIR Briefing at the Royal College of Physicians

The briefing provided delegates with an opportunity to hear three of the ESMA authorised Trade Repositories (TRs) outline their views on the new reporting obligation under EMIR that will begin on 12 February 2014. It also outlined a practical guide to TRs and an understanding of the business impact of EMIR.


European Banking Federation Launches New Report on Corporate Social Responsibly

The European Banking Federation has published a new report on corporate social responsibly (CSR) highlighting the diverse range of CSR projects undertaken by its member organisations across the European banking sector. The report, Overview of CSR Practices in the European Banking Sector, aims to describe best practice in a number of key areas including community involvement, environmental impact, financial education and information disclosure.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Richard Howitt, MEP and European Parliament Spokesperson on Corporate Social Responsibility, underlined the quality of the work illustrated in the report and stressed the need for the banking sector to continue its efforts and to promote CSR as widely as possible: “Restoring trust is key to our economy, and CSR has to be part of the process. The crisis has led to many regulatory measures which must not hide the need to keep up and further develop efforts in CSR. The two must go hand in hand. It is our responsibility as policy-makers to tie the CSR dimension to our regulatory work, as both are necessary to achieve a return to stability and sustainability”.

Also speaking at the launch Robert Priester, Deputy Chief Executive of the EBF said: “This report gives a good overview of the wide diversity in terms of aspects covered and members involved, whether individual banks or national banking associations. We hope we have succeeded in outlining the commitment of our sector to a sound corporate policy and we will continue to monitor and promote new initiatives.”

The EBF represents national banking associations in 32 countries encompassing a total of 4500 banks with 2,500,000 employees. The full report can be viewed here.

IBF Welcomes Positive Trends in SME Credit Demand Study

The Department of Finance/Red C SME Credit Demand Survey published today shows a number of positive trends which are welcome.  These include a further increase in the overall application approval rate by banks, further improvement in the turnaround time for application decisions and improved communication by banks around reasons for credit decline.

Among those SMEs seeking credit, the research provides positive and welcome results as follows:

  • an increase of four percentage points to 80% in the number of applications approved in full/part by lenders
  • an increase of three percentage points to 57% in the number of applications processed within 15 working days
  • a significant improvement in bank communication of the reason for a credit decline, with only 10% now claiming they were not given a reason.

While an increased number of SMEs report a welcome improvement in trading conditions during the April-Sept 2013 period, it is notable that this is not mirrored in an increase in demand for credit – rather a reduction to 36% in the proportion of SMEs seeking credit is recorded.  The authors’ commentary that such conditions have led to a somewhat reduced working capital dependency on the part of struggling businesses is supported by feedback from IBF-member banks over that same period of time.  Furthermore, anecdotal evidence points to a preference on the part of some businesses to rely on cash flow for finance.  In the final analysis, the reality is that 4 out of 5 (78%) businesses who did not apply for credit advised Red C that it was because “didn’t need it”.

With the prospect of further improved trading conditions, the authors anticipate an increased demand for credit for investment and growth purposes.  This would indeed be a welcome development, as banks’ experience shows that the most significant credit demand has been for working capital.

However, as the recently-published DKM/IBF SME Market Monitor reported, the trading environment for many SMEs is made challenging by weak domestic demand.  As the report’s author, Annette Hughes, stated at the time “Any meaningful pickup in retail sales and thus SME activity will require a sustained increase in disposable incomes and a willingness amongst consumers to spend”.

Commenting on the Red C results, IBF’s Director of Public Affairs, Felix O’Regan stated:

“The Red C research points to a number of key trends which are heading in the right direction, while also indicating the challenges that remain – not least in the transition for many of our SMEs from the survival stage to the growth stage.  Both at individual bank level and at IBF level, our sector remains fully focused on working with all viable SMEs –it’s in our mutual interests to do so.  Apart from bank finance and non-finance supports, our focus includes support for the range of important Government initiatives under its Action Plan for Jobs: these include the Credit Guarantee Scheme, Microfinance Ireland and various initiatives to enhance financial planning and management skills among SMEs.”

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Marketing Communications Manager, ph: 01 474 8835 / 087 9016880

Note: The Irish Banking Federation (IBF) is the principal voice of 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.