Banking & Payments Federation Ireland National Conference 2015

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) held its National Banking Conference, Financing Growth and Entrepreneurship, on Friday 30 October 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Dublin. This year’s flagship event brought together the various providers of finance, policy makers and other key stakeholders to consider the financing challenges and opportunities presented by the transition from economic recovery to economic growth.

As investment, growth and job creation feature increasingly for Ireland and other EU economies, the development of new financing instruments and the role of finance from banks and other relevant providers are important considerations. With the focus of EU policy makers on the long-term financing of the European economy through the Juncker Investment Plan and the development of Capital Markets Union, national authorities seek ways to stimulate higher levels of activity by businesses and consumers.

The EU Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Ms. Elzbieta Bienkowska, was joined by a distinguished line-up of speakers from home and abroad to address these issues and discuss them with conference delegates. The conference also afforded participants a valuable opportunity to network with peers from across the banking and wider financial services industry.

BPFI and members launch information and advice leaflet for customers in mortgage arrears

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), Ireland’s principal mortgage lenders representative body, today launches a new information and advice leaflet for customers in mortgage arrears, Important Information to Help People in Mortgage Arrears.

This leaflet, written in plain English and approved by the National Adult Literary Agency (NALA), is a further attempt to get distressed borrowers to engage with their lenders in order to explore possible solutions.

The Important Information to Help People in Mortgage Arrears leaflet follows the recent announcement by StepChange Debt Charity Ireland to provide, through funding from banks, a free, independent debt advice service to people who are struggling with debts with more than one lender. The leaflet also highlights the ongoing working relationship which the banking sector has with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) and the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI), among others.

Over the coming weeks BPFI-member institutions will be sending a specially-adapted version of this leaflet to their customers who are in arrears. This will spell out clearly the various options that may be available to borrowers from each bank. BPFI-member institutions remain fully committed to engaging and working with customers in financial distress and, wherever possible, to keeping them in their homes. Links to these institution-specific leaflets are available here.

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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.

ECB’s Chief Economist addresses FIBI Lunch

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), which is affiliated to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), held its annual lunch in The Westin Hotel, Dublin. The lunch brought together industry leaders from across the international and domestic banking and payments sectors, as well as a host of invited stakeholders.

In his welcome address, Jonathon Lowey, FIBI Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, JP Morgan Ireland said:

“Today’s lunch takes place, thankfully, against a backdrop of economic growth here. We have successfully transitioned from recovery to growth and we are now the fastest growing economy in Europe. This is good news for business, not least the financial services business; and it is good news for our customers.”

The full version of Mr. Lowey’s speech can be downloaded here.

During his keynote speech, Peter Praet, ECB Chief Economist and Executive Board Member with responsibility for Economics and Human Resources, Budget and Organisation, remarked:

“With the Single Supervisory Mechanism we now have a system of supervision that is less liable to capture or forbearance. The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive provides a harmonised and predictable framework for private sector risk-sharing across the Union. And governments are on the way to establishing a European public backstop for the Single Resolution Mechanism.”

The full version of Mr. Praet’s speech is available on the ECB website here and can also be downloaded here.

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Note: The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) is the principal voice of the international banking and financial services sector in Ireland. FIBI is affiliated to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

Contact: Sinéad McGovern 087 6411725

Data Protection Conference 2015

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, supported by Mason Hayes & Curran, held a Data Protection Conference on Thursday 8 October 2015 in the Westin Hotel, Dublin 2 from 8.30am to 12.15pm.

The keynote speakers included Helen Dixon, Data Protection Commissioner and Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor among others. The theme of the conference focused on the future for data privacy, EU data protection reform and the implications for Ireland.

The conference was of interest to those working in members’ compliance and legal departments and to those who deal with the protection of data and privacy in operational areas.

 

BPFI Housing Market Monitor Q2 2015

The BPFI Housing Market Monitor for Q2 2015, published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), draws on a range of published data for its assessment of the current state of the housing market.

The following are among the key trends identified for the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014:

  • 34.7% year-on-year fall in the number of dwelling commencements
  • 9.3% increase in the number of dwelling completions
  • 20.4% annual increase in the number of mortgages approved by lenders
  • 30.1%% increase in the number of mortgages drawn down by borrowers.

BPFI’s Economist and Head of Accounting & Tax, Ali Uğur, points in his commentary to the recent falloff in commencements:

“During the first six months of 2015 only 3,655 units were commenced compared with 5,594 units in the same period in 2014, a 34.7% decline. Commencements are a good indicator of future supply and, given current trends, commencements in 2015 will be lower than in 2014, with commencements likely to feed into completions a year later.”

As to the implications of this he states:

“The lack of supply of suitable housing units, together with increased demand for rental accommodation, are posing major challenges for first-time buyers in particular and are creating real pressure on rents. A significant increase in housebuilding activity and in the number of residential units otherwise available for purchase and for rent will be required to alleviate these pressures.”

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

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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.

 

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland Opens New Frankfurt Office

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today launched its new office in Frankfurt, marking one year since the launch of its Brussels office. Given the increasing importance of the European legislative and policy-making process, the new office will further facilitate the organisation’s engagement with policy makers and regulators.

At today’s opening, Noel Brett, Chief Executive, BPFI, mentioned the support the organisation has received from its members in establishing a presence in Frankfurt saying:

“Such is the particular significance of developments under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) that a dedicated presence here is deemed desirable. Notably, this view is just as strongly supported by our domestically-focused banking and payments institutions as it is by our international banking, treasury and other businesses operating out of Ireland.”

A full copy of Noel Brett’s address at today’s event can be accessed here..

Also in attendance at today’s office opening Bernard Byrne, BPFI President and Chief Executive, AIB, welcomed the opening of BPFI’s new office saying:

“I view today’s event as a continuation, and indeed enhancement, of our Federation’s work at the wider European level. Through the resource of this office and that in Brussels, we now have the opportunity to engage with the decision-making process in a more timely manner. This should also lead to closer collaboration with our various stakeholders at European level.”

A full copy of Bernard Byrne’s address at today’s event can be accessed here..

Also speaking today at the opening of the new office in Frankfurt, Minister of State Simon Harris said:

“As Minister of State with responsibility for International Financial Services, I know from first-hand experience the thoroughness with which BPFI represents its members’ interests. I have no doubt that BPFI will exercise the same quality of engagement at European level, through its Brussels, and now its Frankfurt offices.”

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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: Nuala Buttner, 085 1744275

SME indicators make further modest progress……but some challenges still remain

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, September 2015, prepared by DKM Economic Consultants (DKM) and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), sees further evidence of an underlying improvement across a range of indicators for the SME sector, with some challenges still remaining.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, this latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor points to an improvement in the retail sector, with DKM’s Annette Hughes stating that:

“There was an encouraging recovery in the Retail Sales Volume index in July to its highest point in over seven years. While much of this performance reflects the trends in Motor Trade volumes, the Retail Sales Volume index excluding motor trades moved up a notch in July after declines in the previous two months. However, there needs to be a more solid recovery across all retail sales if there is to be a sustained improvement in the performance of SMEs in the medium-term.”

The report also highlights positive performance in the tourism sector where SME firms serving and supplying the sector are benefiting from exceptional tourist numbers. Commenting on these positive trends in the tourism sector, Annette Hughes states that:

“With 2.11 million (SA) overseas trips to Ireland in Q2’15 – almost 60% from Great Britain and North America – the current tourism strategy, which envisages 10 million overseas visits by 2025 compared with 7.6 million in 2014, seems achievable. The retention of the 9% VAT rate, introduced as a temporary measure in June 2011, in the next Budget will be seen as central in moving towards this target.”

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

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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