Central Bank Review of the Macroprudential Measures for Residential Mortgage Lending

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) notes the outcome of the latest Central Bank of Ireland review of the macroprudential measures for residential mortgage lending.

BPFI member banks will continue, in accordance with the macroprudential measures, to provide support for those wishing to purchase a home.  In so doing, they recognise the importance of ensuring the stability of the banking system and of protecting households from the risks of over-indebtedness.

Mortgage approval and drawdown statistics compiled and published by BPFI reflect the pattern of growth in the mortgage market during 2018 to date. The total value of mortgage drawdowns in the first nine months of the year was €6.1 billion compared to €5.1 billion in the same period of 2017.  FTBs and mover purchasers accounted for around 48.7% and 32.8% of this total in the third quarter of 2018 respectively.  The level of approval activity by lenders has also increased, amounting to €8.6 billion to end-October compared to around €7.8 billion during the same period in 2017.

However, BPFI member banks have encountered a number of operational challenges which have been advised to the Central Bank.  For example, a ‘smoothing process’ as between one year and the next would better enable lenders to manage the flow of approvals through to drawdown in a more measured way and still ensure that, over time, the objectives of the macroprudential rules are met.  Also, a ‘transition period’ between the announcement of any change to the rules and implementation of that change would better enable lenders to deal with, for example, the instance where mortgage approval is provided pre-announcement but actual mortgage drawdown takes place post-announcement.

BPFI’s Acting Chief Executive, Maurice Crowley, states:

“Managing and predicting how mortgage approvals translate into actual drawdowns present an on-going challenge to lenders to come within the exemption limits set under the macroprudential measures. Consequently, we have previously asked the Central Bank to take into account the operational challenges which lenders face.”


Note: Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has 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, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie 087 9016880

SOLD OUT – Risk Management & Supervisory Conference – SOLD OUT

This event is now sold out. 

The BPFI Annual Risk Management & Supervisory Conference, in association with Mazars, will take place on Thursday 17th January in The Westbury Hotel, Grafton Street, Dublin 2, from 9.00am – 12.45pm.

Ten years after the financial crisis many banks in Ireland and Europe have made substantial progress in relation to governance and capital with significant changes in the regulatory and supervisory framework. This year’s conference entitled, ‘The Future Supervisory Landscape’ explores the continuing transformation of the supervisory and regulatory framework for financial institutions in Europe and internationally.

While work on regulatory changes has continued to develop with the finalisation of Basel III at the end of 2017 and significant progress being made at the EU level on the risk reduction package, regulatory and supervisory issues will remain an ongoing matter for the banking sector in 2019.

At this conference you will hear from expert speakers from the European Central Bank, Single Resolution Board (SRB)and Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) among others on the latest regulatory issues including CRD V/CRR II, Basel III finalisation and implementation in the EU, priorities for the SSM and the SRB in 2019 as well as domestic regulatory and supervisory expectations from the CBI.


For individual bookings, please click on the ‘Book Now’ button below. For organisations who wish 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

Safe Online Shopping Campaign 2018

Consumers and retailers urged to take precautions in run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday 

  • €46.5bn spent worldwide on Credit & Debit Cards issued in Ireland in 2017 with €15.5bn spent online.
  • Downward trend in card fraud with year on year decrease from €45.2m in 2016 to €29m in 2017.
  • 80% of card fraud occurs in Card Not Present environment.
  • 38% of 25-34 year olds shop online weekly.
  • 57% only use credible websites when shopping on their mobile phone
  • 38% use social media to inspire purchases, this increases to 94% for 18-24 year olds

(Sources:  Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, Retails and Consumer Report 2018 – PWC)

An Garda Síochána in association with the FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, are urging consumers and retailers to shop and sell online safely and to protect their financial and personal details with the approach of Black Friday (Friday 23rd November) and Cyber Monday (26th November 2018)

Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said “Buying online is a very convenient way to shop particularly in the busy run up to Christmas however shopping safely online is not a given, as there are inherent risks. It is vital that people exercise caution when shopping online and follow the fraud prevention advices provided.”

Niamh Davenport, leading the FraudSMART programme for Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, advised consumers and businesses that taking simple steps can make all the difference when shopping or selling online, “While Black Friday provides consumers with a great chance to grab a bargain, it can also open up the perfect opportunity for scammers and hackers. It is often a simple or easy measure that people can take to protect against fraud and it is important that consumers know these to avoid being vulnerable to fraudsters.”

An Garda Síochána and FraudSMART’s top tips for shopping online this week and in the run up to Christmas include:

Be Informed

  • Do your research; only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with. Use websites that your friends, family or colleagues have used before.
  • Do not click on links or adverts from social media. Independently go to the website offering the deal. This will ensure you are not shopping on a fake website.
  • Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details

Be Alert

  • Read terms and conditions and make sure you are not committing to a series of recurring payments especially where free trials are offered.
  • Always save all documents related to your online purchases.
  • When purchasing something online from another person, do not send money up front

Be Secure

  • Use a secure website. Look for the padlock symbol and the ‘S’ in HTTPS.
  • Never send your Card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi when making payments, always switch to 3G/4G


  • Regularly check statements and transactions for any frauds or suspicious activity
  • If you have a suspicion about an online transaction check your account online to ascertain if the payment was made to the genuine retailer.
  • Report suspicious transactions to your local Garda station and to your bank or card processor.

They also outlined the steps which retails should consider during this busy Christmas period:

Advice for Online Retailers

Retailers can also be the target of online frauds when it comes to purchases of goods online. Compromised credit cards or requests to pay for goods and services using money transfer services can result in significant losses for online sellers. To avoid those losses, some basic steps should be kept in mind by online retailers and private sellers.

  • Beware of any purchases of bulk items or large quantities of the items or random goods
  • Check any purchases of high-value goods or goods that can easily be resold
  • Be cautious with purchases using credit/debit cards issues overseas or in a different name than the purchaser
  • Check that the delivery and billing addresses are the same.
  • Check addresses and usernames online using Google to see if there are any reports or complaints.
  • Require postcodes with addresses. Use Google maps to make sure the address is correct
  • Be cautious of bulk purchases of gift cards and guest logins rather than users creating accounts
  • Small cost purchases followed by larger purchases by the same user could indicate someone testing a compromised card
  • If you capture IP addresses check them online to see where they are registered. If the billing/delivery address is in a different country, this could indicate a problem
  • Don’t hesitate to contact the customer by phone and ask them to confirm their payment details such as card number, bank name, card expiry date etc.  Genuine customers will usually know these details immediately.

Further advice/information

www.garda.ie for crime prevention advice and contact details of local Garda Stations
www.FraudSMART.ie for advice of fraud prevention
Consumer Association of Ireland


For further information:
Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, 087 9016880, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie

The following are the most common by which criminals can obtain payment card details.

Phishing is where criminals send unsolicited emails to individuals which purport to have been sent from genuine businesses or individuals.  The purpose of these emails is to induce the individuals to reveal personal information such as payment card details, bank account numbers and personal security data.  Phishing emails usually appear to have been sent from financial institutions and instruct the recipient to follow a link to a fraudulent website which requests personal and financial information be inputted.

Vishing or Voice Phishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering techniques over the phone in order to obtain the personal, financial or security data from individuals.  Social engineering can be described as human to human interaction which attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in human nature in an attempt to obtain personal information.

Smishing or SMS Phishing is a phishing attack whereby a mobile phone user receives an SMS (text) message which purports to have been sent from a genuine business or individual.  This message attempts to induce the recipient to follow a link to a website which appears to be legitimate but in under the control of the criminal organisation.  This website then requests personal and financial information to be inputted.


About FraudSMART

FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the following member banks, Allied Irish Bank plc, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, PermanentTSB and Ulster Bank. Launched in October 2017, the campaign 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. Web: www.fraudsmart.ie

About BPFI

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 70-member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

BPFI’s FraudSMART Initiative launches National Fraud Awareness Week

New research reveals over a third of SMEs targeted by financial fraud

BPFI’s fraud awareness initiative FraudSMART has launched Fraud Awareness Week which runs from 12th to 18th November. New research carried out as part of the week has revealed that over a third (36%) of Irish SMEs have been targeted by financial fraud in the past twelve months, with 1 in 18 of these attempts proving successful. Using CSO figures, this equates to 4,257 companies who have fallen victim to a scam in the past year.

The research was carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes among a nationally representative sample of SMEs. Fraud Awareness Week, which this year focuses on financial fraud prevention among SMEs, is spearheaded by FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland on behalf of the banking sector.

The most common types of scam encountered by SMEs are Phishing Emails (72%), followed by Vishing, a phone-based phishing scam (26%), and Invoice Redirection scams (21%).

In terms of attitude towards the threat of financial fraud, 79% of SMEs identified financial fraud as a potential threat to their business. However, despite the recognition of the threat that financial fraud poses, 68% of SMEs do not have fraud awareness guidelines and training in place.

In addition, over a third of businesses surveyed (35%) stated that they do not confirm the legitimacy of new bank details from suppliers before confirming a payment. Smaller still was the number of SMEs who have invested in fraud prevention software in the past year (26%).

Businesses, particularly SMEs, have been advised by FraudSMART to be extra vigilant, given the ever-increasing threat and sophistication of financial fraud scams.

As National Fraud Awareness Week gets underway, Niamh Davenport, FraudSMART, said, “The research shows the extent to which SMEs are targeted by fraudsters annually. For businesses, the impact of falling victim to a financial fraud scam can be devastating. While businesses are aware of the threat that financial fraud poses, there appears to be complacency around putting guidelines and measures in place to combat it. During National Fraud Awareness Week, and indeed beyond it, I would encourage SMEs to familiarise themselves with the types of scams they can be targeted with and take the necessary precautions to protect their business.”

FraudSMART has developed a brochure ‘Protect Your Business from Fraud’ aimed specifically at the business community. This brochure is available to download, for free, on www.fraudsmart.ie.

National Fraud Awareness week runs from 12th to 18th November. Over the course of the week a social media campaign titled, ‘The Great Irish Cash Giveaway’, featuring Simon Delaney, will air each day on FraudSMART’s social media channels, explaining the five most common types of financial fraud scams. The week will also include a radio advertising campaign and BPFI member banks will also be supporting the week in various ways.


For further information:

Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communication, BPFI, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie 087 9016880

Notes to Editor:

This survey was undertaken for FraudSMART by Behaviour & Attitudes (B&A). The survey aimed to represent small and medium companies in Ireland, using a randomly selected sample of 160 business owners and managers.  These company owners were free-found and are not part of a survey panel. Broad quotas were used to ensure representivity by number of employees, with sector and type of company allowed to fall out as a survey result. Fieldwork was carried out between the 10th and 28th September 2018.

About FraudSMART:

FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the following member banks, Allied Irish Bank plc, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, PermanentTSB and Ulster Bank.

Launched in October 2017, the campaign 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.

Web: www.fraudsmart.ie

About BPFI:

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Web: www.bpfi.ie

BPFI appoints Brian Hayes as New CEO

BPFI has appointed Brian Hayes as its new CEO. This appointment will come into effect from April 2019, once the current European Parliament term has come to an end and all duties of its Members have been completed.

In his role as CEO, Hayes will be the spokesperson for the industry, representing domestic and international member institutions at both national and international level. Through his extensive knowledge and experience, he will also help shape BPFI policy and provide input on how legislative initiatives impact upon the operations of the industry.

Commenting on the appointment, Jonathon Lowey, President of BPFI said, “We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Brian Hayes as the new CEO of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland.

“His numerous posts over the past decade, including Deputy Finance Minister in 2011, Vice President of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and the EPP Vice Coordinator on the ECON Committee, make him the ideal candidate for the position. A natural leader, Brian has a track record of delivering on his commitments and overseeing the delivery of complex legislation and developing long-term relationships with key stakeholders, both at home and abroad.

“I would like to thank Maurice Crowley sincerely for taking on the interim CEO position and also thank his predecessor, Noel Brett, for his excellent work. This is a critical time for our organisation. BPFI has been instrumental in setting up the Irish Banking Culture Board, working with its Establishment Office, the Department of Finance and the Central Bank of Ireland. We have also been liaising with government on the IFS 2025 strategy and engaging with the EU Parliament and EU Commission on Brexit, with support from our affiliate, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland.”

Brian Hayes commented: “I am very pleased to confirm I will be taking up the position as CEO of BPFI at the end of my current tenure in the European Parliament. Given my work over the past 10 years, I understand the important role and responsibility of the banking and payments industry to Ireland. There are clearly great opportunities and challenges facing us at present, especially around the questions of trust and confidence in Irish banks. Central to Ireland’s continued economic come back must be a healthy, sustainable and customer focused banking industry.

“I look forward to working with the talented BPFI team and partners, to help reposition the sector as a crucial driver for real investment and growth in Ireland’s future.

Brian Hayes will be taking over the role from interim CEO Maurice Crowley, who was appointed by the BPFI’s Council Executive Advisory Group (CEAG) in June of this year (2018) following the departure of Noel Brett.


EC 2019 Work Programme

The European Commission launched its 2019 work programme in October, ahead of European elections next May and the appointment of a new Commission in Autumn 2019. Despite the changeover in institutional make-up, the Commission is presenting a number of new initiatives, including two non-legislative communications on coordination around Artificial Intelligence, and strengthening the international role of the euro and a “Fitness Check” on supervisory and corporate reporting. Priority is also given to the finalisation of a number of files including E-Privacy, the European Market Infrastructure reform, the Sustainable Finance Package, the Package on Non-Performing Loans, the European Accessibility Act, the review of the European Supervisory Authorities and the EBA responsibilities for Anti-Money Laundering, Covered Bond Harmonisation, a backstop to the Single Resolution Fund and making progress towards a European Deposit Insurance Scheme among others. Beyond the legislation, the Commission is working to prepare for a future of 27 Member States, rather than 28, and in this regard, the “Sibiu Summit” of EU 27 Leaders is scheduled for 9 May, Europe Day – six weeks after the scheduled Brexit and two weeks before the European Elections.

Cost assessment for ECB payment statistics

BPFI is working with its members to reply to the cost assessment of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) proposed revisions to its payment statistics regulation. While many of the proposed changes duplicate the European Banking Authority fraud reporting guidelines under PSD2, the ECB aims for additional payment fraud breakdowns and non-SEPA payment instruments. It separately proposes additional reporting covering, among other things, new payment services, contactless payments and more timely payments data for balance of payments and other economic analysis.

EBA Impact Assessment on Basel III

The European Banking Authority (EBA) recently published the results of a preliminary assessment of the impact of the Basel reform package on EU banks – assuming its full implementation, as endorsed by the Basel Committee in December 2017, around credit risk, operational risk, and leverage ratio frameworks, as well as of the introduction of the aggregate output floor. The EBA estimates that the Basel III reforms would determine an average increase by 16.7% at the full implementation date. To comply with the new framework, EU banks would need €24.5 billion of additional total capital, €6 billion of which would be additional CET1 capital. According to EBA estimates, the leading factors are from the output floor (6.3%) and operational risk (5.7%). Eight banks based in Ireland took part in this impact assessment which used data from a sample of 101 banks using December 2017 as reference point.

In parallel, the EBA is working on a more detailed report on the impact of the reforms in response to the European Commission’s Call for Advice. This report will be based on a larger sample and updated data, where banks were sent templates to be filled in by November for large banks and by December for smaller banks. It is expected that after the finalisation of CRD IV, the Basel III monitoring exercise will assess the impact of the implementation of CRD IV.

Cross-Border Payments and Currency Conversion

In March the EU Commission issued a proposal to make amendments to regulation 924/2009 on cross-border payments and currency conversion. BPFI has partnered with sister federations across Europe to prepare a detailed position paper for consideration during the upcoming trialogue discussions between the EU Commission, the Council and the Parliament. The impact of the proposed amendments is twofold:

Fee Equalisation: The original amendments proposed by the Commission would result in the consistent application of fees to all euro cross-border transactions within the Union.  At present, a customer or company in Bulgaria making a cross-border transfer of €500 to Finland may have to pay up to €24 in fees, whereas a person transferring the same amount to Finland from Ireland would pay the standard fee for a domestic payment transaction within Ireland.

As a result of the amendments contained in this proposal, the citizen or company transferring euros from Bulgaria would also pay very little. This person or company would pay the same fees for a transfer in euros that they would pay for a domestic transfer within Bulgaria.

However, in recent weeks the Parliament has proposed the extension of the scope to include all Member State currencies.  Some may argue that this does not align with the spirit of the single market and the intent of euro as the common currency.

Currency Conversion Transparency: The amendments also establish additional transparency obligations for currency conversion practices. When you make a card payment abroad you are often given the choice to pay in your home currency or in the local national currency.  Consumer behaviour typically opts for their home currency – thus the practice of Dynamic Currency Conversion is applied.  Research suggests this is predominantly the more expensive choice.

The amendments aim to provide consumers with access to all the required information, conversion rates and charges, to make an informed choice.  The complexity and cost implications of such a change should not be underestimated, therefore the timeline from entry into force to full application of the regulation is an important factor.

BPFI gets behind #CyberScams Awareness Campaign

In partnership with An Garda Síochána and in co-operation with the Department of Justice and Equality BPFI have supported Europol and the European Banking Federation (EBF) in the Pan-European #CyberScams Awareness Campaign which ran from 17-23 October as part of European Cyber Security Month. The aim of the campaign was to highlight some simple steps to enable internet users to stay safe and to protect their personal, financial and professional data. Throughout the week information was provided on the seven most common online financial scams and how to avoid them. BPFI’s fraud awareness initiative, FraudSMART, was utilised very effectively to highlight through its social media channels the awareness materials created at European level to support the campaign.