Mortgage Approvals – January 2017

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for the three months ending January 2017.*

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 3,055 mortgages were approved per month, on average, in the three months ending January 2017 – some 1,473 (48.2%) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 991 (32.4%).
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 40.7% year-on-year and fell  by 2.8% month-on-month.
  • The value of mortgages approved per month, on average, in the three months ending January 2017 was €628 million – of which €295 million (47.0%) was accounted for by FTBs and €241 million (38.4%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 53.2% year-on-year and fell by 2.0% month-on-month.

Re-mortgage or switching approvals grew on a year-on-year basis with activity accounting for 8.8% of the value and 8.0% of the volume of mortgages.

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 2017  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 January 2017 with the three months ending January 2016.  Month-on-month compares the average for the three months ending  January 201y with the three months ending December 2016.

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

SME Market Monitor points to possible impact of international factors on the SME environment

The latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor, February 2017, prepared by DKM Economic Consultants (DKM) and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), points to a concern about the impact which international factors may be having on the SME environment.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, the latest DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor describes the apparent emerging concern about the effect of such factors as Brexit and the new US administration on the Irish economy. However, in her commentary accompanying the report, DKM’s Annette Hughes also notes the positive trends evident in employment, earnings and the construction sector:

“From the analysis to date, there appears to be an emerging concern about the impact of international factors, notably Brexit and the new US President, on the Irish economy. That concern is evident from recent trends in consumer confidence, notwithstanding a jump in January, the moderation in the volume growth in retail sales, increases in input prices in the manufacturing, food and construction sectors, a decline in the number of tourists visiting from Britain and an increase in the savings ratio. Meanwhile the economy registered further increases in employment and earnings and the construction sector expanded in Q3 2016 at its fastest rate in twelve years.”

Outlining the many positive trends present across many indicators, the report highlights the marked improvement in consumer confidence in January and points to the record level of Total disposable income which reached €25.7 billion, surpassing the previous peak set in Q3 2008. It also notes that Consumer expenditure increased in the quarter, having recorded a yearly and quarterly expansion of 2.9% and 1.1% respectively. However Hughes concludes by sounding a note of caution that businesses should ensure they are well prepared in the months ahead as the full effects of external factors continue to materialise:

“Overall, it is clear that in this latest assessment of the SME environment, several indicators have been impacted negatively by the result of the Brexit referendum and the new US president, although the full effects of both have yet to emerge fully. This implies there is no room for complacency and the Irish Government and SMEs need to monitor developments closely to ensure they are well prepared for any eventuality.”

The DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor can be viewed on the BPFI website here and 

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

Digital Transformation in Financial Services – SOLD OUT

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, in association with Deloitte, will host a morning conference on the Digital Transformation in Financial Services on Thursday 9th March, 9.00am – 12.30pm in The Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.

With digital fast becoming the channel of choice for consumers, it is clear that the banking system of the future will soon look dramatically different to the one that exists today. How can banks and financial services generally be relevant at all times? How is digital technology likely to impact on the development and provision of financial services generally?  What challenges and opportunities does it bring?  And what of the relationship between banking and fintech?

Our conference will outline many of these changes and attempt to paint a picture of the future, thereby enabling delegates to gain a better understanding of the impacts and opportunities for their business. We have asked acknowledged experts in their field to share their views with us and we look forward to an engaging debate on the future potential of the digital financial services landscape in Ireland.

Group bookings

For individual bookings, please click on the ‘Book Now’ button below. For organisations wishing to send several of their team, we are pleased to offer further discounts for group bookings (applicable where all attendees are employed by the same organisation and are registered under one booking):

  • 4 for the price of 3
  • 7 for the price of 5
  • 10 for the price of 7
  • For groups of 12 or more, every second delegate attends free of charge

Check if you are a member here.

To take advantage of this opportunity, please complete the FAX Booking Form here and send it to Lisa Shevlin at

Covered Bonds

The Asset Covered Securities (ACS) Legislation Project Working Group met with the Department of Finance and the Central Bank in December to discuss proposed changes to the ACS Legislation. Following the publication of the European Banking Authority (EBA) report on “Recommendations on Harmonisation of Covered Bond Frameworks in the EU”, BPFI is revising the proposed legislative amendments to references where we incorporate items that are outlined in the EBA proposals. Once complete, documentation will be provided to the Central Bank and Department of Finance for consideration and review. The recently published IFS2020 Action Plan for 2017 outlines the Department of Finance’s intention to assess the case for amendments to Irish Covered Bond legislation in 2017.

BPFI response to the EBA consultation on Guidelines on PD and LGD estimation

Following a series of discussions, the BPFI Pillar 1 Working Group has developed a response to the European Banking Authority (EBA) consultation on Guidelines on probability of default (PD) and loss given default (LGD) estimation. BPFI supports the objective of the draft guidelines, which is to reduce variability in the internal ratings-based (IRB) approach. BPFI has produced a detailed response to the consultation paper and has also contributed to the position paper of the European Banking Federation (EBF). The consultation ends in mid-February.

Finalisation of STS underway in Brussels

Trialogue discussions between the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers (under the Maltese Presidency) and the European Commission on a Simple, Transparent and Standardised Framework for Securitisation have begun, with BPFI’s offices in Brussels and Dublin feeding Irish industry viewpoints into this final part of the political process, through key stakeholders in the EU institutions. Concerns remain around the risk retention levels, restriction of investors and capital calibrations among other things, and we are monitoring these discussions very closely. While negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of June 2017, this will require political will among Parliamentarians and Member States to reach a final compromise that works.

BPFI responds to EBA Payments Account Directive consultation

The BPFI PAD Working Group response to the EBA Consultation paper on technical standards on fee terminology and disclosure documents under the Payment Accounts Directive was submitted in December 2016. Feedback was also provided to the European Banking Federation on its draft response. We now await the outcome of that consultation process. BPFI is meanwhile working closely with the Department of Finance and the Central Banks in addressing a small number of issues that remain open relating to the Payment Account with Basic Features.

BPFI attends Single Resolution Board’s Industry Dialogue meeting

BPFI was invited to attend the Single Resolution Board’s (SRB) Industry Dialogue meeting, which took place in Brussels in January. It brought together over 100 stakeholders, including representatives from EU-level and national banking federations from Banking Union countries, representatives from National Resolution Authorities, the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Central Bank. The meeting opened with a welcome address from Dr. Elke König, Chair of the SRB, followed by presentations on Liability Data Reporting by Dominique Laboureix, Member of the Board, and Axel Kunde, Head of Unit Resolution Planning and Execution; and on Critical Functions and Access to FMIs by Mauro Grande, Member of the Board, and Nadège Jassaud, Head of Unit, Strategy & Methodology.