Mortgage Approvals – August 2014

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for the three months ending August 2014.

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,574 mortgages were approved per month, on average, in the three months ending August 2014, of which 2,373 (92%) were for house purchase.
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 45.6% year-on-year and by 0.7% month-on-month.
  • The value of mortgages approved per month, on average, in the three months ending August 2014 was €469 million, of which €450 million (96%) was for house purchase.
  • The value of mortgage approvals increased by 55.8% year-on-year and by 1.5% month-on-month.

The year to end-August has seen some 15,900 mortgage approvals valued at €2.8 billion.

Data collection for the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report began in August 2012 covering the period from January 2011 onwards in respect of the market’s main mortgage lenders. Click here to view the BPFI Mortgage Approvals publication Aug 2014.

All figures are based on the three-month moving average. Year-on-year compares the average for the three months ending August 2014 with the three months ending August 2013. Month-on-month compares the average for the three months ending August 2014 with the three months ending July 2014.


Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland is the voice of banking and payments in Ireland, representing over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.


European Banks and Europol Join Forces to Fight Cybercrime

Monday 22nd September 2014 – Today the European Banking Federation and Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, known as EC3, signed a Memorandum of Understanding which paves the way for intensifying cooperation between law enforcement and the financial sector in the EU.

With the increasing ‘cyberisation’ of crime affecting the financial sector, closer cooperation between the EBF and EC3 is expected to have positive results in preventing and fighting the crimes of tomorrow, including increasingly sophisticated phishing techniques and the spreading of a multitude of banking malware variations/permutations. Both organisations facilitate the connection of essential partners: the EBF links leading financial institutions together and EC3 links cybercrime divisions of police forces in the EU Member States.

The MoU allows the exchange of expertise, statistics and other strategic information between both parties. It will facilitate the exchange of data on threats to enable financial institutions to protect themselves, whilst the immediate reporting of new malware and evolving means of payment fraud allows law enforcement to investigate and arrest the clever and ‘tech-savvy’ perpetrators.

Cooperation between law enforcement and the financial sector has already led to several operational successes and successful preventive action. A good example is payment card fraud.

Although committing fraud is nowadays much more complicated due to security measures, organised crime groups involved in skimming and forging cards have been investigated, prosecuted and jailed.

Wim Mijs, Chief Executive of the European Banking Federation, says: “Our members already cooperate intensely with their own, national police authorities in order to fight with financial cybercrime. Our partnership with Europol now adds a European dimension to this important work. International cooperation between banks and law enforcement bodies is essential because it is clear that criminals know no borders.”

Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) says: ”Today marks an important day for both EU law enforcement and the banking industry. We have agreed to intensify mutual cooperation, respecting relevant national legislation, to jointly enhance our ability to prevent, prosecute and disrupt cybercrime against the financial sector. This is more than a ceremonial gesture – this is the establishment of a trusted relationship aimed at achieving tangible results that will make life more difficult for criminals and life easier for the banking sector and all of us who use these important services.”

Keith Gross, Chair of the EBF IT Fraud Committee and Head of Financial Crime & Security at Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, says: ”Cybercrime does significant damage to society. That is why formalising our existing relations with Europol is an important development. Banks are on the frontline in this fight every day. This type of crime evolves rapidly and becomes increasingly sophisticated.”


About Europol

Europol is the law enforcement agency of the European Union whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens. The agency does this by assisting the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. Almost 800 staff at Europol headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, works closely with law enforcement agencies in the 28 EU Member States and in other non-EU partner states such as Australia, Canada, the USA and Norway. Website:

About the European Banking Federation:

Launched in 1960, the European Banking Federation is the voice of the European banking sector from countries in the European Union and the European Free Trade Association. Members of the federation are 32 national banking associations. The EBF represents the interests of some 4,500 banks, large and small, wholesale and retail, local and cross-border financial institutions. Together these banks account for over 80 percent of the total assets and deposits and some 80 percent of all bank loans in the EU alone. Website:

Final Reminder to Businesses to “Join the Evolution” on e-Day

Friday 19th September 2014 – The National Payments Plan (NPP) has issued a reminder to businesses and public sector bodies that e-Day comes into effect from today, 19th September. e-Day marks the day that public sector bodies stop sending cheques to and receiving cheques from businesses. The “join the evolution” campaign, organised by the NPP, calls on businesses to review the way they transact payments and look to cards and e-payments as the most efficient alternatives.

The e‐Day initiative was launched in September last year to allow time for the necessary actions of the various State agencies and businesses to take place. In order to assist businesses to meet the e-Day requirements, the NPP has put in place a website Businesses are also advised to contact their own banks if they have additional queries.

The NPP targets savings of up to €1 billion per annum for the Irish economy, which can be achieved through a shift to e-payments.

For further information on e-Day, visit


The above infographic was designed by the NPP showing the life of a cheque, and is available for circulation and publication here


Notes to Editor

  • Irish SMEs send and receive an average of 61,369 cheques per day.
  • Cheques issued by all businesses will be an estimated 28 million in 2014, down from 33 million in 2012.
  • The carbon footprint for every cheque payment is around 49.3g CO2, compared to just 0.76g CO2 for each direct debit payment. CO2 is emitted during the printing of cheques, the creation of envelopes to send them in, the fuel used to physically transport cheques in the post and in the in-house processes in the banks of the senders and receivers of cheques.
  • Once the cheque’s journey is complete, it will be warehoused for 6 years and then destroyed.



IBF PWC Mortgage Market Profile Q2 2014

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile for the second quarter of 2014.

The IBF/PwC Mortgage Market Profile provides quarterly data on new residential mortgage lending in Ireland. The data is supplied to the Irish Banking Federation/Irish Mortgage Council by mortgage-lending institutions and we estimate that the data covers in excess of 95% of the mortgage market.