Mortgage Approvals – March 2018

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for March 2018. [*]

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 3,374 mortgages were approved in March 2018 – some  1,703 (50.5% of total volume) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 901 (26.7%).
  • The number of mortgages approved fell by 8.0% year-on-year but rose by 7.6% month-on-month.
  •  Mortgages approved in March 2018 were valued at €763 million – of which FTBs accounted for €390 million (51.1%) and €234 million (30.7%) by mover purchasers.
  •  The value of mortgage approvals fell by 2.9% year-on-year and but rose by 10.4% month-on-month.

Re-mortgage/switching approvals rose on a year-on-year basis – by 54.9% in value and by 50.5% in volume terms.

The annualised volume of mortgage approvals fell for the first time since March 2016, falling by 0.7% in the twelve months ending March 2018 to 43,256. The annualised value of approvals fell by 0.2% to almost €9.5 billion.

Annualised switching activity continued to grow strongly, with volumes increasing by about 4% in four of the past five reports. Switching volumes rose to 4,029 in the twelve months ending March 2018, double the volume in May 2016.

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 March 2018  as well as the time series data file is available on the BPFI website HERE

*The full time series of monthly data from January 2011 onwards is available on the BPFI website.

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland represents 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



Mortgage Drawdowns Q1 2018

  • 7,879 mortgages to a value of €1,704 million drawn down in Q1 2018
  • Loan volumes in Q1 2018 up 13.5% year-on-year but down 23.9% quarter-on-quarter
  • Values over the same period up 22.4% year-on-year but down 23.6% quarter-on-quarter

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland’s (BPFI) Mortgage Drawdowns report published today shows that 7,879 new mortgages to the value of €1,704 million were drawn down by borrowers during the first quarter of 2018.

These latest figures represent an increase of 15.5% in volume and 22.4% in value on the corresponding first quarter of 2017.  They also represent a drop of 27.6% in volume and 23.6% in value compared with the previous quarter (Q4 2017) – Q1 is typically the weakest month in any year.

First-time buyers (FTBs) remain the single largest segment by volume (48.2%) and by value (48.3%).  Together, FTBs and mover-purchasers accounted for 76.8% of the total value of mortgages drawn down.

The volume and the value of re-mortgage loans (switching) continue to increase: there were 969 re-mortgage loans in Q1 2018 to the value of €221 million. This reflects year-on-year growth of 51.2% in volume and 58.9% in value.

The BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns report can be viewed on the web at

Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland represents 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

ECB Guide on Fintech Licensing

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published its “Guide to assessments of fintech credit institution licence applications”. The ECB considers “fintech banks” to be those having “a business model in which the production and delivery of banking products and services are based on technology-enabled innovation”. The Guide attempts to explain the ECB’s approach to the assessment of licence applications for new fintech banks and requirement for the establishment of specialised subsidiaries in those existing credit institutions (both significant and less significant) applying a fintech business model. It looks at a number of areas to be included in the assessment, including suitability of the members of the management body, suitability of shareholders, assessment of credit scoring and governance, IT-related risks, outsourcing and cloud outsourcing, data governance and the programme of operations, in addition to an assessment of capital, liquidity and solvency. The Guide is intended as a “practical tool”, rather than as a set of binding rules.

Consumer Protection Bill and Securitisation

BPFI is currently engaging with members around the Consumer Protection (Regulation of Credit Servicing Firms) (Amendment) Bill 2018. One of the key areas of focus is the potential impact of the Bill on Irish Securitisations. The case has been made to the Department of Finance on the need for a definition of securitisation to be included in the Bill that defines what constitutes a securitisation for the purpose of the exceptions included in the Bill.

IFS 2020 Action Plan 2018

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) continues to engage with the Department of Finance on the delivery of the IFS 2020 “2018 Action Plan”. Prior to the most recent Industry Advisory Committee’s (IAC) meeting in March, FIBI’s priorities were discussed with the Department and two nominations were submitted for consideration as new members of the IAC following engagement with members. FIBI is currently working directly with the Department on measure 12 of the Action Plan, specifically on its proposal to “Present updated quarterly economic data on”.

EC Financing Sustainable Growth Conference

BPFI recently attended the European Commission’s High Level Conference on Financing Sustainable Growth in Brussels. This high profile event demonstrated the European Union’s focus on the sustainable finance agenda as part of the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, 2015. Mike Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, opened the event with other keynote speakers including French Prime Minister, Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President, Jean Claude Juncker.

In light of the EU goal of reducing emissions by 40% and increasing renewable energy by 27% before 2030, the role of private finance in supporting public finance to provide the €180 billion needed each year was articulated by nearly all speakers.  Some key issues for ongoing discussion emerged. These included the importance of establishing a proper regulatory framework to facilitate the urgent transition to sustainable finance, adequate data collection to facilitate transparent identification of truly “green” financial products and the desirability of the green supporting factor (such as the awarding of initiatives like the EMF’s EeMAP through capital reduction) over a corresponding “brown penalising factor”. The next key step following this conference is the legislative proposal for action that will be published in May.

New EU proposals on cross border payments

BPFI is currently assessing a legislative proposal by the EU Commission (EC) for a Regulation on cross border payments, published at the end of March. The proposal consists of two elements: i) to allow for reduced cost in making cross border payments in euro from non-euro Member States; and ii) to increase transparency in the Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) process. These two elements are proposed by way of amendments to Regulation 924/2009 – Regulation on cross-border payments in the Community and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 – and in the case of DCC, by way of publication of technical standards by the European Banking Authority (EBA). BPFI will work with its members to establish a relevant industry position and to communicate regarding any developments as the proposal progresses through the EU legislative process.

BPFI Brexit Working Group

In March, BPFI hosted a meeting of its Brexit Working Groups to discuss key priorities as we approach the final twelve months of the Brexit process. Conor Lawlor, Brexit Project Director at UK Finance, participated in the meeting to share his perspective and help generate a useful discussion. In line with our existing Brexit position papers, members confirmed that their key concerns relate to data, mobility and contract continuity.