Mortgage Approvals – May 2018

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

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 4,473 mortgages were approved in May 2018 – some 2,230 (49.9% of total volume) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,206 (27.0%).
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 9.8% year-on-year and by 19.2% month-on-month.
  • Mortgages approved in May 2018 were valued at €1,014 million – of which FTBs accounted for €506 million (49.9%) and €324 million (32.0%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 14.4% year-on-year and by 20.3% month-on-month.

Re-mortgage/switching approvals rose on a year-on-year basis – by 106.0% in value and by 96.0% in volume terms.

The annualised volume of mortgage approvals exceeded 44,000 in the twelve months ending May 2018, about 1% higher than the twelve months ending April 2018. The annualised value of approvals fell by 0.2% to almost €9.5 billion. The annualised value of FTB approvals rose by €58.5 million to €4.8 billion.

The fastest growing segment was still switching where the value of lending rose by €70 million to almost €1.1 billion in the twelve months ending May 2018.

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 May 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

FIBI developments

Derek Kehoe, CEO, BNP and Declan Lynch, CEO, Elavon have been accepted as members of the Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) following the recent nomination process, and were formally invited to attend the IAC meeting in June by Minister Michael D’Arcy. Zdenek Turek, Chief Executive Officer of Citibank Europe plc, has also been invited to join the IAC. Meanwhile this year’s FIBI conference “International Banking: What the Future Holds”, which took place in early June considered the drivers of change in international banking, encompassing everything from digital opportunities and threats to positioning a bank’s strategy around the current and future regulatory and macro-financial environment. Key speakers included Arnaud Marés, Chief European Economist at Citi, Erik Nielsen, Global Head of CIB Research and Group Chief Economist at Unicredit and Jeremy Wilson, Vice Chairman, Corporate Banking at Barclays.

BPFI attends Single Resolution Board dialogue meeting

Earlier this month BPFI attended the first European Banking Federation Boardroom Dialogue in Brussels, which brought together industry groups and bodies such as the Single Resolution Board (SRB) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) for a constructive dialogue on Minimum Requirements for own funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) and operational continuity.

Elke König, SRB Chair, was one of the speakers at this event and engaged with banks on strategic resolution issues. Additional speakers included Dietrich Domanski, Secretary General of the FSB and Dominique Laboureix and Mauro Grande, SRB Board Members.

The engagement featured discussions on:

  • Calibrating MREL and steering your business and other regulatory benchmarks
  • Achieving transparency of MREL setting for markets
  • Expectations for internal MREL in the SRM, EU and beyond (differentiating between SPE and MPE strategies)

Review of Brexit and EU files

It was agreed under IFS 2020 that the banking sector would meet with government officials to review the portfolio of current EU dossiers and issues relating to Brexit. This meeting recently provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on the key regulatory files: these include Brexit, Recital 7 of the Settlement Finality Directive, an Irish CSD, the Directive on Credit Servicers, credit purchasers and the recovery of collateral, the EC Covered Bond Legislative proposals, ESA Review and the Review of prudential framework for investment firms.

Change to BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Data

BPFI recently enhanced the mortgage drawdowns data published on its website by providing a breakdown of purchase mortgage drawdowns by property status (new or second-hand). The new data is available from Q1 2005. BPFI will continue to develop market data for publication. The latest BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report 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.

International Banking in Ireland Brussels event

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI) recently hosted a delegation to Brussels for a range of meetings with EU stakeholders including the EC Brexit Taskforce and the Cabinet of Commissioner Phil Hogan. An event also took place with Minister of State for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy, Brian Hayes MEP and John Berrigan, European Commission, to discuss “International Financial Services in Ireland – Risks and Opportunities in a changing world”.

FPAI Signs MoU with Fintech Association of Hong Kong

The Fintech and Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Fintech Association of Hong Kong. The agreement sets out a number of areas where both entities agree to work together to promote trade between Ireland and Hong Kong, with particular emphasis on Fintech and Banking.

Commenting on the MoU, Michael Concannon, Head of Strategy and Development, FPAI, said ‘Hong Kong is Asia’s largest financial hub and has a vibrant and growing Fintech scene. It has also devised a ‘landing program’ to help attract overseas Fintech firms to trade in the region, which is also seen as a pathway to Asian and Chinese markets. By signing this MoU with our counter-party in Hong Kong we hope to encourage Irish Fintechs to look to Hong Kong in the knowledge that help and support is at hand.’

The signing of the MoU was facilitated by Enterprise Ireland who hosted a ‘Routes to Growth’ event attended by a trade delegation from Hong Kong which aimed to deepen economic and financial ties between both jurisdictions

Stakeholder Engagement

  • BPFI’s Financial Education Stakeholder Forum saw representatives from a wide range of stakeholder interests come together to discuss the current state of financial literacy in Ireland and future challenges.  Representatives from the National Council for Curriculum Assessment, the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission, Citizens Information Board, MABS and other financial sector bodies were among those joining member bank representatives in the Forum.  The discussion was usefully informed by presentations from Frank Conway of MoneyWhizz and Eoin McGee from Prosperous.
  • We had a strong turnout from brokers, estate agents, auctioneers and valuers, financial analysts, the property and construction sectors for our most recent Housing Market Monitor presentation to stakeholders. Much of the discussion which followed the presentation by BPFI’s Chief Economist, Ali Ugur, focused on how demographics are impacting on housing demand and supply side challenges including skills shortages in the construction sector.
  • The latest EY-DKM/BPFI SME Market Monitor provided the opportunity to bring together representatives from government departments, the Central Bank, the Credit Review Office, Microfinance Ireland, various business bodies, as well as from member banks to consider the current environment for the SME sector.  The presentation by Annette Hughes showed a generally positive domestic environment with risks on the international front including Brexit and a global trade war.

BPFI’s FraudSMART campaign partners with Age Action

As part of our FraudSMART programme BPFI has teamed up with Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people, to raise awareness of the types of fraud and scams that older people are being targeted with.

The awareness campaign launches the start of our partnership with Age Action and aims to provide older people with helpful tips and advice on how best to protect themselves from becoming a potential victim of fraud using three simple ABC steps: Always be alert to unexpected calls or emails and never give out personal/banking information. Bide your time; don’t be rushed and take time to do your checks. Contact your bank and find out if they really are trying to make contact with you.

Cards with the ABC steps will be available in Age Action shops across the country. In addition, a series of articles with advice on how people can protect themselves from financial fraud will be published in the bimonthly Ageing Matters magazine.

FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by BPFI in conjunction with its member banks which aims to raise consumer and business awareness of the latest financial fraud activity and trends and provide simple and impartial advice on how best they can protect themselves and their resources. For further information on the FraudSMART campaign, visit