Mortgage Approvals – February 2015

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for the three months ending February 2015.

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,297 mortgages were approved per month, on average, in the three months ending February 2015, of which 2,090 (91%) were for house purchase.
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 53.3% year-on-year and fell by 8.1% month-on-month.
  • The value of mortgages approved per month, on average, in the three months ending February 2015 was €438 million, of which €406 million (93%) was for house purchase.
  • The value of mortgage approvals increased by 73.8% year-on-year and fell by 6.8% month-on-month.

The Report notes that this is the twelfth consecutive month in which mortgage approvals have grown by 40% or more year-on-year; also that mortgage activity typically drops off in the first months of each year, with the drop-off in February ranging between 5.6% and 21.4% over the past four years.

Data collection for the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report began in September 2012 covering the period from January 2011 onwards in respect of the market’s main mortgage lenders. The BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report February 2015 is available on the BPFI website here.

All figures are based on the three-month moving average. Year-on-year compares the average for the three months ending February 2015 with the three months ending February 2014. Month-on-month compares the average for the three months ending February 2015 with the three months ending January 2014.

Ends/

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.
Contact: Sinead McGovern, ph: 087 6411725

 

SME Market Monitor sees economic indicators as boding well for SMEs

  • Strengthening domestic demand in 2015 vital for SMEs
  • Euro’s weakness creates advantages for many SMEs 

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, March 2015, prepared by DKM Economic Consultants (DKM) and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), sees a reasonably healthy set of economic indicators as boding well for SMEs in 2015.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, this latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor points in particular to the upturn in domestic demand in 2014 – making its first real contribution to GDP growth since 2007.  This is evident in both consumer and government expenditure which were marginally higher in 2014 over 2013 and in total investment which expanded by a full 11.3%. As its author, DKM’s Annette Hughes, states:

This development is very encouraging for all SMEs, but especially for those SMEs which rely solely on the domestic economy – some 92% of micro SMEs (employing less than 10 persons) are dependent on the domestic economy for their customer base.  The continued strengthening of domestic demand and a confident consumer in 2015 will be vital for their sustainability.” 

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor also points to the declining value of the euro as presenting real opportunities for many of our SMEs: those operating in the tourism sector here at home as well as those engaged in international trade.  With just 17% of visitors to Ireland coming from the USA in 2014, the weak euro could well deliver sizeable benefits for tourism-related businesses in the form of more jobs, increased turnover and improved financial health.  Though a small proportion of the total SME population, our internationally-trading SMEs account for 33% of total SME employment and 52% of the total Gross Value Added.  Courtesy of a weaker euro, they can expect to generate increased export sales, particularly in the UK and Asia.  On this point Annette Hughes concludes:

“Increases in export and tourism activity will contribute to economic activity.  Then through various output and employment multipliers, the activities of other Irish firms supplying SMEs back through the supply chain and the additional wages generated and spend on good and services in the wider economy can generate an even greater contribution to the economic recovery.”

The DKM/IBF SME Market Monitor can be viewed on the BPFI website here and www.dkm.ie.

ends/

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.

Contact: Annette Hughes, Director DKM Consultants, Ph: 01 6670372

Sinead McGovern, 087 6411725

FIBI International Banking Conference 2015: Strategically Positioning IFS

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), which is affiliated to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), held its flagship annual conference ‘Strategically Positioning IFS’ on the morning of Monday 15th June 2015 in the Marker Hotel, Dublin.

This year’s Conference brought together industry leaders and decision makers from across the international and domestic banking and financial services sector. EU Commissioner Jonathan Hill and Minister Simon Harris spoke to the overall theme of the conference; and two high-powered panels addressed issues of global competitiveness and future trends. As well providing an excellent opportunity to contribute to the discussion on these important matters, the conference afforded delegates with a unique platform to network with industry peers and informally exchange views on key financial services developments.

Agenda

The conference agenda is available to download here.

Further pick-up in completions required to meet likely demand for housing – BPFI Housing Market Monitor

  • Over 22,000 mortgages drawn down in 2014 – a 48% increase on the previous year

In his commentary accompanying the latest edition of the BPFI Housing Market Monitor, published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, BPFI’s Economist and Head of Accounting & Tax, Ali Ugur, points to the need for further pick-up in completions if the expected demand for housing is to be met.

Referring to the 33% increase in house completions in 2014, he notes from some comparative figures produced by Goodbody that our current house completion rate is well below the European average; and from CSO figures he notes only 30% of those under-35 years of age currently own their own home. Thus he concludes:

“Irish household formation rates, which are an important factor in determining future housing demand and hence housing completions, are likely to be higher than European averages due to factors such as a much lower median age of population, the highest birth rate in the EU and a much higher, but falling, average household size.”

And he goes on to state: “Relatively low levels of mortgage debt in this age cohort (under 35) could play a significant role in driving pent-up demand for future housing requirements in Ireland, notwithstanding the fact that this demand may not be equally distributed in all regions.”

Ugur also points to the more than 22,000 mortgage loans drawn down in 2014, which represented an increase in lending of 48% over the previous year, with the number of mortgages drawn down rising to its highest level since 2010. He believes the impact of new Central Bank macro prudential measures is uncertain.

“It is not clear yet what the effects of these new regulations will be on the mortgage market, the rental market and the wider housing market, including new house building. However, the supply of housing units will still be a key factor in determining prices and affordability in the near future.”

ends/

The BPFI Housing Market Monitor is published quarterly and can be viewed on the BPFI website here.

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) 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.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, ph: 01 474 8835 / 087 9016880

Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) Welcomes New IFS2020 Strategy

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) has welcomed the publication of the Government’s new five-year strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services Sector, which aims to produce more than 10,000 new jobs.

FIBI said the new strategy represents a further major step in supporting the development of the sector and in promoting Ireland as a location for internationally-traded financial services adding that the organisation looks forward to working with Government to develop the IFS as an engine for growth and continued recovery.

Jonathan Lowey, Chairman, FIBI welcomed the new strategy stating:

“The Government’s launch of this new five-year strategy underlines its commitment to supporting growth in internationally traded services and the key role that international financial services sector can play in creating jobs and contributing to economic growth.

We particularly welcome the actions proposed around ensuring that Ireland continues to be well placed with regard to the availability of the necessary skills and competencies. Ireland’s attractiveness and competitiveness as an investment location for International Financial Services depends on it. The co-ordinated approach to international promotion of IFS is also to be welcomed and we look forward to being involved in development of the Banner Brand proposed in the strategy.”

Mr Lowey added: “In order to foster innovation and improve banks time to market it essential that the regulatory regime is responsive to and engaged with the IFS sector, enabling new entrants and supporting new product or sector development, where appropriate. Therefore, we are pleased with the inclusion of the development of operation metrics for publication by the Central Bank as part of the strategy and we look forward to contributing our member’s views on what could be included in these.

Our members recognise the increasing importance of FinTech to the financial services industry and the strategic role it plays in the sector. We support the various initiatives proposed in this space and look forward to developing them further. The payments forum and the securitisation and CMU forum are also areas of particular importance to our members.

The ambitious goals of IFS2020 leave little doubt that there is a new energy and focus on the current and future contributions of financial services to the Irish economy. With the highest growth of any economy in the Eurozone, Ireland is once again becoming one of the best locations in the world in which to conduct financial services business. FIBI commends Minister Harris on the development of the new strategy which has acted as a catalyst in creating additional positive momentum in the sector and FIBI and its members look forward playing their part in its rollout and delivery.”

IFS2020: A Strategy for Ireland’s International Financial Services sector 2015-2020 is available to download here and the speech by Minister of State Simon Harris, T.D. at the BFPI briefing on 12th March 2015 is available here.

Ends/

Note: The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) is affiliated to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), which is the voice of banking and payments in Ireland – representing over 65 member institutions and associates including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, ph: 01 474 8835 / 087 9016880

New Online Resource for Business Teachers and Students Launched by Minister for Education

BusinessEducation.ie is developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI)

Resource assists Leaving Cert students of business subjects

The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD, today launched BusinessEducation.ie, a new online resource for teachers and students of Leaving Certificate Business and Economics.

Developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI), the site provides a number of learning resources for use by teachers and students in the classroom or at home. These resources have been identified by the BSTAI as tools which can provide valuable support in teaching and learning the senior cycle business subjects.

The content on the site is written and assessed by experienced business teachers; and the factual economic indicator material is compiled by BPFI’s Economist. It will be regularly updated with new material each school term and there are also future plans to include resources for Accounting.

Welcoming the new resource, the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan TD said: “BusinessStudies.ie is a great new resource for students and teachers which will no doubt be of immense value throughout the school year and in preparation for exams. The study of business and economics by our students is vital to developing the future health of our country’s economy and I commend both BPFI and the BSTAI in working to produce this resource and would encourage all business teachers and students to use and take advantage of the support it provides.”

Also speaking about the benefits of the new resource, Ultan Henry, President BSTAI, said: “The BSTAI is delighted to work in collaboration with BPFI in developing this new resource. BusinessEducation.ie will enhance the quality of teaching and learning by adding to the support provided to students and teachers”

Noel Brett, BPFI CEO, added: “BPFI is delighted to have spearheaded the development of this new resource with the BSTAI, with whom we have a long-standing relationship across a range of financial education projects and initiatives. Having identified a real need for this type of resource, BPFI and the BSTAI have worked very closely together to develop BusinessEducation.ie which will provide valuable support both within and outside the classroom. BPFI and its member institutions recognise the importance of financial education and this new resource is the latest addition to a wealth of initiatives already being provided by our sector in schools, colleges and in the workplace.”

BusinessEducation.ie currently has three main sections:

  • Economic Indicators – this section provides an overview of the most up-to-date figures on a range of Ireland’s key economic indicators. These figures are important in helping students to understand certain parts of the curricula as well as for use in exams.
  • Exam Q&A – this section covers a number of key topics within the Business and Economics syllabi. Each topic overview is accompanied by a sample exam question and written answer (written by teachers) as well as a number of suggested student activities. Additional topics will be added each school term.
  • Business News –this section provides useful links to business news stories which are relevant to both the Business and Economics curricula.

BusinessEducation.ie has been developed as part of European Money Week, a new initiative led by the European Banking Federation (EBF) which takes place throughout the week 9th – 13th March 2015. The initiative aims to raise public awareness on financial literacy and improving financial education for students at primary and secondary level. Further details on European Money week can be found here.

ENDS/

For Further Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, ph: 01 474 8835 / 087 9016880

Note:
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland is the voice of banking and payments in Ireland, representing over 65 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

The Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI) is the professional association for all teachers of Business Studies subjects in second level education. With 16 branches through the country, the role of the association is the enhancement and development of business subjects in our schools. For more information, visit our website here.

 

Mortgage Approvals – January 2015

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for the three months ending January 2015.

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,500 mortgages were approved per month, on average, in the three months ending January 2015, of which 2,296 (92%) were for house purchase.
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 57.5% year-on-year and fell by 10.1% month-on-month.
  • The value of mortgages approved per month, on average, in the three months ending January 2015 was €470 million, of which €441 million (94%) was for house purchase.
  • The value of mortgage approvals increased by 70.9% year-on-year and fell by 8% month-on-month.

The Report notes that mortgage activity typically drops off in January of each year, with the drop-off in January ranging between 9.8% and 16.2% over the past four years.

Data collection for the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report began in September 2012 covering the period from January 2011 onwards in respect of the market’s main mortgage lenders. The BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report January 2015 is available on the BPFI website here.

All figures are based on the three-month moving average. Year-on-year compares the average for the three months ending January 2015 with the three months ending January 2014. Month-on-month compares the average for the three months ending January 2015 with the three months ending December 2014.

Ends/

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.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, ph: 01 474 8835 / 087 9016880