Mortgage Approvals – April 2016

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for the three months ending April 2016.

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,307 mortgages were approved per month, on average, in the three months ending April 2016 – some 1,294 (56.1%) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 623 (27.0%).
  • The number of mortgages approved fell by 1.9% year-on-year and increased by 18.7% month-on-month.
  • The value of mortgages approved per month, on average, in the three months ending April 2016 was €443 million – of which €240 million (54.2%) was accounted for by FTBs and €146 million (33.0%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 2% year-on-year and by 19.7% month-on-month.

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 April 2016 as well as the time series data file 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 April 2016 with the three months ending April 2015.  Month-on-month compares the average for the three months ending April 2016 with the three months ending March 2016.

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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: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, 087 9016880

BPFI Housing Market Monitor points to an increase in housing activity but continuing supply constraints

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today published the BPFI Housing Market Monitor for Q1 2016. The monitor draws on a range of published data under the three key headings of housing supply, housing prices and rents and housing transactions for its assessment of the current state of the housing market.

In his commentary accompanying the report, BPFI’s Economist and Head of Accounting & Tax, Ali Uğur, points to the notable increase  seen in housing activity, specifically  the rise in housing commencements, completions and planning applications. However, despite this upward trend in activity, he cautions that housing supply will still fall significantly short of estimated demand:

“Supply of new homes in Ireland still remains low, despite a year-on-year increase of about 20% in completions in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. If the same trend were to continue for the rest of the year, it is likely that completions would be around the 15,000 mark for 2016 which would still be well below the estimated demand of 25,000 units. Around 39% of all units completed in the first quarter of 2016 were individual houses or one-off units. Of the total units completed in the first quarter of 2016, nearly one third of all completions were in the Dublin area where shortage of housing supply is most acute; this is despite an approximate 50% increase in completions in the period compared with first quarter of 2015.”

 His analysis also looks at the role which cash is playing in the housing market and the regional variations which can be seen across the country in this regard:

“While cash has always played some part in the market over time, cash sales have become a significant feature of housing market activity in Ireland over the past few years. Using loan level data and Property Services Regulatory Authority data, BPFI’s own analysis of transactions shows that, as of Q1 2016, cash purchases accounted for 47% of all transactions. That compares with an estimated 35% in the UK, according to the Council for Mortgage Lenders. However there are significant regional variations with cash sales accounting for a high of 75% of all transactions in county Leitrim and a low of around 29% in county Kildare. We estimate that in Dublin cash sales accounted for around 37% of all transactions in the first quarter of 2016 compared to around 40% in Q1 2013.”

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, 087 9016880

Consistent interpretation of regulation and Capital Markets Union among key topics discussed at FIBI International Banking Conference 2016

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), which is affiliated to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), today held its flagship international banking conference ‘Navigating the New Banking Landscape’ at The Westin Hotel, Dublin. Today’s conference brought together industry leaders and decision makers from across the international and domestic banking and financial services sector to discuss a wide of range of key issues impacting the sector including the current regulatory environment, Brexit and the digital transformation of the industry.

Speaking on the issue of regulation, Jonathon Lowey, FIBI Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, JP Morgan Ireland emphasised the need for a level playing field in how regulation is interpreted here in Ireland compared with competing jurisdictions:

“The banking landscape is evolving all the time.  But, as international banks with operations here in Ireland, our over-riding objective remains the same: namely, to maintain our existing business lines as well as win new business from competitors and, more significantly, internally within our own organisations.  To achieve this we need to see, for example, that regulation is being interpreted and applied in the same way here as in competing jurisdictions; that cost competitiveness is maintained; that skills development and acquisition is facilitated and appropriately remunerated.  It’s not always clear to us that this is indeed the case.”

In the context of the heavy regulatory agenda in recent years he continued by underlining the industry’s support for the introduction of a Capital Markets Union (CMU) stressing the need to ensure it is open and accessible:

“We are very pleased to see now that the European Commission wants to build on and further enhance the financial stability agenda through the introduction of a Capital Markets Union…  We support the CMU Action Plan which will aid further integration of financial services in Europe.  In particular, we support the European Commission’s Call for Evidence on the EU regulatory framework.  We hope this exercise helps to identify and address unintended consequences coming out of the heavy regulatory agenda of the last eight years.  One final point on the Capital Markets Union: as international banks, we think it is crucial that we build an open CMU.  This means ensuring that as we do work to further enhance Europe’s single market for financial services, we do not build a barrier around Europe.  It is crucial that the CMU will aim to enhance capital flows in and out of Europe as well as between Member States.”

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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: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI
Ph: 01 4748835 / 087 9016880

Overpayment Scam

For the attention of:  Irish Businesses

Purpose of Advisory

A number of businesses in Ireland have recently been targeted by fraudsters posing as new customers. They order goods or services for which they make an overpayment and then seek a refund. The original order payment, usually a cheque or draft, later turns out to be bogus leaving the business with a loss.

A PDF version of the Overpayment Scam alert is available to download here.

Key Details

 How Does the Scam Work?

  • The fraudster targets a legitimate seller of goods/services
  • They pose as a new customers, often based abroad, and make an initial order
  • Payment is generally made by a cheque or draft that is delivered directly to a bank branch (even if an electronic method of payment has been discussed)
  • The sum received is higher than the purchase price of the order
  • The seller then receives a request, usually be email, to return all or part of the monies electronically as quickly as possible
  • While the seller is pressured to return the money, the original cheque or draft, which is usually forged, counterfeit or fraudulently altered in some way, will be rejected and not paid – so the seller loses out

Red Flags

 Businesses should be wary of the following

  • New customers and/or an unusually large orders
  • Customers who will only provide an email address for contact purposes
  • When the method of payment differs from what was previously discussed e.g. customer has been paid by means of cheque when an electronic transfer was agreed and expected
  • Buyers who make a payment above the quoted or invoiced price and ask for the overpayment to be returned electronically
  • Customers who put you under pressure to release goods/funds without undertaking essential checks

Action

 To Protect your Business from overpayment Scams

  • Always make sure you know that any funds paid into your account are irrevocable before making a refund
  • Always exercise caution when forming new relationships with potential customers, undertaking appropriate due diligence
  • Never feel pressured into making a refund until you are sure original funds are legitimate and secure
  • If you are concerned you have been targeted by an overpayment scam, immediately contact your Bank and report to the Gardaí / Police

 This is a general notice issued by the Financial Crime and Security Department of BPFI on behalf of BPFI members.

Disclaimer Note: The information contained in this Fraud Alert /Advisory is for general guidance and for information purposes only and is intended to enhance awareness and vigilance regarding this fraud.

 

SME Market Monitor shows continued economic recovery is good news for SMEs

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, May 2016, prepared by DKM Economic Consultants (DKM) and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), highlights the positive impact being felt by SMEs as the economic recovery continues to strengthen and grow.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, the latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor highlights the improving environment for SMEs spurred by a rebound in domestic demand and supported by an expanded labour market, with DKM’s Annette Hughes stating that:

“With 2016 well underway, indications are that the continuing economic recovery is increasingly benefitting SMEs. The strengthening in GDP, with 7.8% growth in 2015, was associated with a broadening of the economic recovery, which has been in train now for the past eighteen months. Both have been facilitated by the continued improvement in the labour market which has contributed to the rebound in domestic demand, a key driver of the recovery.”

The report also points to key positive trends in other indicators including a record breaking performance in the tourism sector and the continuing fall in unemployment and underlines the importance to SMEs of sustaining this recovery. However it also outlines the challenges which SMEs face, sounding a note of caution in respect of average earnings and the importance of maintaining competitiveness:

“With average earnings in the economy still behind peak levels, they began to recover in 2015, increasing by 1.7%. With momentum gathering across the economy for further increases in earnings, it will be important not to jeopardise any further positive benefits from a continued recovery in employment for SMEs across the country by excessive wage demands, as some locations have yet to join the recovery.”

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 Economic Consultants, Ph: 01 6670372

Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, Ph: 01 4748835 / 087 9016880

New Mortgage Lending in Q1 2016

  • 5,446 mortgages to a value of €1.01 billion drawn down in Q1 2016
  • Value of loans in Q1 2016 up 2.5% year-on-year but down 29.9% quarter-on-quarter
  • First quarter has traditionally been the weakest quarter

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) Mortgage Drawdowns Report published today, shows that 5,446 new mortgages to the value of €1.01 billion were drawn down by borrowers here during the first quarter of 2016.

These latest figures represent a decrease of 32.7% in volume and 29.9% in value compared with the previous quarter (Q4 2015). They also represent a decrease of 3.1% in volume but an increase of 2.5% in value on the corresponding first quarter of 2015.

Regarding quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year trends, the first quarter has traditionally been the weakest in any calendar year and Q1 2015 was an unusually strong first quarter.

First-time buyers (FTBs) remain the single largest segment by volume (47.7%) and by value (45.8%). Together, FTBs and mover purchasers accounted for 86% of the total value of mortgages drawn down.

The volume and the value of re-mortgage loans (switching) continue to increase – albeit from low levels: there were 392 re-mortgage loans in Q1 2016 to the value of €78 million, reflecting year-on-year growth of 127.9% in volume and 88.6% in value.

The average FTB and mover-purchase mortgage drawdown each rose in Q1 2016, to its highest level since Q2 2011 and Q1 2011, respectively.

The BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report can be viewed on the BPFI website here.

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, 087 9016880