FPAI sign MoU with FinTech Assoc. of Japan

BPFI and its affiliate, the FinTech & Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the FinTech Association of Japan.  This took place as part of an Irish FinTech Innovation Tour organised by Enterprise Ireland.

A recent Enterprise Ireland report into Irish Fintech found that over a quarter of companies surveyed are considering expansion into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, reflecting the global nature of financial services.  However, the report also found that many Irish fintech companies are unsure of how to start their engagement with new markets, particularly in Asia.

The purpose of this MoU is to assist in developing mutual understanding of each other’s markets, to assist in the introduction of fintech delegations and start-ups between jurisdictions, and to explore the potential in developing joint innovation projects on the application of novel financial technologies.

Speaking at the signing, BPFI Head of Digital and Payments Strategy, Richard Walsh said, “We are delighted to be entering into this MoU with our colleagues from the FinTech Association of Japan. As the world’s second largest developed economy, Japan holds great promise for Irish FinTechs looking to expand into Asia. And conversely, with Japanese venture capital spending at an all-time high, Japanese investors are actively looking for opportunities to invest in European Fintech.”Dig

Stakeholder Engagement June 2019

  • BPFI’s CEO and Chief Economist led a delegation of bank chief executives from our Significant Institutions in a meeting with Andrea Enria, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, European Central Bank, on his recent visit to Dublin to address the FIBI international banking conference. In a wide-ranging and constructive exchange Non-Performing Loans, Risk Weighted Assets density and Brexit were among the areas covered.
  • The Central Bank of Ireland’s annual Stakeholder Roundtable saw BPFI’s Director of Banking & Payments joining a wide range of other stakeholders.  Senior-level central bankers presented on a number of current issues. Various stakeholders took the opportunity to table some of their concerns on the lack of transparency around Central Bank levies.
  • The scope for collaboration in the promotion of common interests between SME lending banks and SME borrowers has provided the basis for recent engagement which our Director of Public Affairs and Head of Funding & Resolution have had with SME representative interests.  This includes discussions with the Small Firms Association on their proposal to address sub-optimal financial structures in SMEs; also with the developers of an online resource to promote better financial management by SMEs.
  • Stakeholders representing the Dept of Education, the Citizens Information Board, Competition & Consumer Protection Commission, National Adult Literacy Agency, MABS, the Central Bank of Ireland, teacher representatives and various business groups were among those who joined with member bank representatives in our recent Financial Education Stakeholder Forum.  Led by BPFI’s Director of Public Affairs and the Head of Communications, and with the assistance of guest speakers from the UK and Denmark, the Forum facilitated consideration of financial education as a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
  • There was a very strong turnout from brokers, estate agents, auctioneers and valuers, financial analysts, the business and property sectors for our most recent Housing Market Monitor presentation to stakeholders. Much of the discussion which followed the presentation by BPFI Chief Economist Ali Ugur focused on the likely household construction output in 2019 and beyond, with general consensus on the importance of the Help to Buy scheme in providing significant support and certainty to first-time buyers and builders/developers alike.
  • Representatives from the Central Bank of Ireland, Department of Finance, Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), the credit card schemes and various retail bodies joined member bank representatives for a very informative exchange of views on current and developing trends in payments. This followed a presentation by BPFI Head of Digital & Payments Strategy Richard Walsh, on our latest Payments Monitor. The continued very strong growth in contactless payments and digital banking were among the key highlights: with consumers making almost one million contactless payments per day during 2018; and using digital banking (personal online or mobile) to make some 94 million credit transfers during the same period.

Sustainable Finance

Further to the recent publication by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, of the: ‘Government’s Climate Action Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown’, BPFI attended a briefing by government departments at which Minister Bruton articulated the government’s mission regarding climate action and key objectives.

For financial service providers, the plan reflects the approach of the Central Bank to climate risk and efforts underway in the EU to re-purpose finance to support a de-carbonising economy.

Separately in late June BPFI attended DG Fisma’s stakeholder dialogue on the progress and outcomes of the work of the Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance and will discuss implications of this report with the BPFI Sustainable Finance Forum. There is now the opportunity to provide feedback on the interim report on benchmarks and on the proposed taxonomy activities. The TEG mandate will continue until end 2019 when the Platform on Sustainable Finance will be put in place.

FraudSMART Youth Campaign

The latest research from BPFI’s fraud awareness programme FraudSMART has revealed that almost half (47%) of young adults aged 18-24-years old say they have been the target of attempted fraud on a monthly basis or more often. Among those, 16% say they have been targeted weekly and 7% have been targeted daily.

Just one in three of these young adults (30%) realised that their money was missing, or personal data had been stolen within 24 hours of the incident, while a further 30% noticed within the week. One in every five (20%) said they were unaware of the fraud for more than a year.

BPFI’s FraudSMART initiative ran a two-week awareness campaign in early June urging young people to be vigilant to the threat of attempted fraud, particularly during the summer months when looking for seasonal and temporary work and provided practical advice for students to avoid them falling victim to scams.

The survey revealed that one in ten (10%) of those targeted by fraudsters had been contacted through classified advertisements, double the rate of all age groups surveyed and almost on a par with attempts to defraud young adults via social media channels (at 12%).

Skills shortage highlighted by International Banking Survey

BPFI affiliate, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland  (FIBI),  recently undertook a survey of its members to help inform its strategic priorities. Some of the key results from this included the following:

  • Some 56% of members expect to increase employment numbers here over the coming 12 months, while 25% expect levels to remain unchanged.
  • When asked to rate a range of factors here relative to other international financial services locations:
    • 93% of respondents positively referenced the adaptability/flexibility of the workforce;
    • 57% positively referenced the availability of suitable graduates; but
    • Just 28% positively referenced the availability of experienced/skilled staff.
  • When asked to identify likely areas of skills shortages, 77% pointed to regulatory and compliance, 69% to risk management while 62% pointed to the area of digital skills such as data analytics.

These results indicate that the international banking sector has the appetite and the capacity to further increase overall employment levels here over the next twelve months at least. But it would also seem that further work needs to be done to ensure a pipeline of suitably qualified people; and FIBI will be engaging with government and other key stakeholders to help bring this about.

With access to talent and skills a key strategic pillar for FIBI, it has recently finalised the ‘Leadership in Future of Financial Services’ programme with the Irish Management Institute (IMI).  This highly strategic and immersive programme will develop participants’ mindsets to become disruption-fit leaders with the ability to leverage new technologies and deploy those capabilities in a people-centric way. Officially launched in June, the programme commences in September and, through FIBI’s involvement in IFS Skillsnet, a funding subsidy of 25% for the programme has been secured. Details on this and the  programme itself are available here.

FIBI is also engaging with third-level institutions to assist in the development of future graduates and post-graduates and to increase the profile of IFS careers and technology career opportunities available in FIBI banks.  FIBI recently participated in UCD’s strategy engagement day on the next five-year strategy for UCD which was hosted by Professor Andrew Deeks and we continue to engage with UCD in this regard. We are also working closely with universities with regards to potential placements and internship partnerships which could be mutually beneficial.

 

PSD2 Public Awareness Campaign

BPFI recently ran a week long public awareness campaign aimed at promoting awareness and understanding of the new aspects of PSD2 due to be fully rolled out by 14 September 2019. The campaign, which is the first of two running this summer, consisted of a number of elements including media engagement, radio advertising and social media outreach. As part of the campaign development BPFI worked with members to create an animated video explainer which is available on a specially created webpage www.mypsd2.ie  The video aims to provide simple consumer focused explanations of Strong Customer Authentication and Open Banking and underpins the direct communications being sent by members to their customers.

Political economy, Regulation and Innovation top the agenda at FIBI International Banking Conference 2019

The Federation of International Banks in Ireland (FIBI), which is affiliated to Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), today held its flagship international banking conference at The Westin Hotel, Dublin.  Against a backdrop of increasing financial market activity in Ireland today’s conference brought together a panel of industry leaders, regulators and decision makers from across the international and domestic financial services sector to discuss the future of international banking amidst continued geo-political uncertainty, on-going regulatory implementation and financial technological transformation.

In the opening address to the conference, Derek Kehoe, Chairman, FIBI, highlighted the results of FIBI’s latest research with its members which shows sentiment is upbeat in relation to increasing employment levels in the sector, however it also highlights concern in relation to skills shortage: “Some 56% of our members expect to increase employment numbers here over the coming 12 months, while 25% expect levels to remain unchanged. When asked to rate a range of factors here relative to other international financial services locations, 93% of respondents positively referenced the adaptability/flexibility of the workforce; 57% positively referenced the availability of suitable graduates; but just 28% positively referenced the availability of experienced/skilled staff.”

“What all of this indicates is that the international banking sector has the appetite and the capacity to further increase overall employment levels here over the next twelve months at least. But it would also seem that further work needs to be done to ensure a pipeline of suitably qualified people.”

Mr Kehoe also underlined the industry’s commitment  to the issue of conduct and culture and also its full support for structures and changes being put in place externally:

“In terms of conduct and conduct we fully recognise as an industry that we need to ensure the best outcomes for our various stakeholders – our customers, employees, shareholders, regulators and the society in which we operate. Exemplary conduct needs to be at the core of everything we do.  The main driver for this has to come from within our own structures, our own industry.  We have a Working Group in place which, for starters, is actively focused on sharing best practice in this area.  At the same time, there are and will be drivers for change from outside our industry.  In this regard we welcome the establishment of the Irish Banking Culture Board; and we support Central Bank plans for enhancement of the current fitness and probity regime to implement a new framework of accountability at senior executive level.”

ENDS/

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

 

Changes to online banking and shopping highlighted by new awareness campaign

Full rollout of European law, PDS2, will provide better protection for electronic payments and reduce fraud by introducing enhanced security steps

Banking & Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today launched a public awareness campaign aimed at promoting awareness and understanding of the new aspects of PSD2 to be fully rolled out by 14th September 2019.  The upcoming changes aim to enhance security for electronic payments and provide opportunities for new market participants.

The second Payment Services Directive or PSD2 is a European law which comes into full force on 14th September that  will make it more secure for consumers to make electronic payments when shopping online or using online banking services.

The increased security measures, known as ‘Strong Customer Authentication’ will see some changes to how customers log onto their online banking service or make an online payment using their credit or debit card. The changes will vary across individual banks but will generally take the form of an additional security step before customers can access their online accounts or complete some online payments. Consumers may also encounter an additional security step before completing a purchase when shopping online. This will generally take the form of a security code sent directly to their mobile phone.

Speaking at the start of the week-long campaign to highlight the upcoming changes, Gill Murphy, Head of Payment Schemes, BPFI said:

“Over the coming months consumers will start to notice changes in the form of enhanced security steps as they go about accessing their online banking services and shopping online. It is important to remember that they are being introduced right across Europe to help counter fraud and make online payments more secure by providing better protection for consumers and their online accounts. Payment Service Providers must ensure compliance by September 14th next with the security standards outlined in PSD2.  In preparation for this BPFI member banks are currently contacting their customers to explain what they can expect. As the changes can vary from bank to bank, it is very important that customers take the time to read the information they receive carefully.”

In addition to enhancing security, PDS2 will also introduce what is known as Open Banking. This will allow Third Party Providers or TPPs to securely provide consumers with some new services. An example of these services would include paying directly from a bank account as an alternative to a debit or credit card when shopping online. Open Banking also allows for account information services such as providing consumers and businesses with a single view of their online banking accounts across different institutions. As these new services become available consumers should be assured that TPPs can only access their accounts with the explicit consent of the account holder. TPPs will be regulated in a similar way to banks.

The current BPFI campaign, which consists of a number of elements including radio advertising and social media outreach, is the first of two campaigns running this summer to highlight the upcoming changes. Consumers wishing to find out further information should contact their bank or log onto www.mypsd2.ie

 

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 100 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

Domestic economy performing strongly despite weakening consumer sentiment and Brexit uncertainty – BPFI SME Market Monitor

  • Retail sales reach record high in April

  • Largest increase in annual employment growth since Q3 2007

  • Decrease in consumer sentiment from 98.8 in January 2019 to 89.9 in May 2019.

The latest BPFI SME Market Monitor prepared by EY-DKM Economic Advisory Services, and published today by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), shows buoyant growth in the domestic economy driven by a strong labour market despite a weakening in consumer sentiment due to ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

Tracking trends across 15 different indicators which are important for the performance of the SME sector, the latest SME Market Monitor presents some key highlights:

  • Irish households continue to loosen the purse strings. In April, retail sales reached a record high, increasing by 2.1% on the month.
  • Q1 2019 saw significant improvement in labour market indicators. Annual employment growth accelerated to 3.7% in Q1 2019 – the largest increase since Q3 2007 – and unemployment fell to a cycle-low of 4.6% in April.
  • Brexit preparations in the beginning of 2019 boosted activity across the manufacturing sector. However, the sector continues to lose momentum.
  • Consumer sentiment has decreased from 98.8 in January 2019 to 89.9 in May 2019.

Providing her assessment of the current SME environment, Annette Hughes, Director, EY-DKM Economic Advisory, outlines the significant mismatch evident between weaker consumer sentiment on one hand – driven in part by ongoing Brexit uncertainty – and the buoyant labour market and strong household spending on the other:

“For many, Brexit remains firmly in the background , despite the positive economic news at home. Until such a time as there is a clear outcome for Brexit, this ambiguity is likely to continue to weigh on consumer and business sentiment.”

“While Brexit brings potentially severe implications for Irish consumers and businesses alike and is weighing on sentiment, current indicators point to a more positive story in the domestic economy. The labour market continues to outperform expectations – driving strong growth in consumer spending, a key indicator for SMEs. Meanwhile, new SME lending in Q4 2018, although down 5.6% on the corresponding figure last year, was up strongly in year-on-year terms in the preceding four quarters, especially in the  property and agri-food sectors.”

The BPFI SME Market Monitor is available on the BPFI website here.

 

 

Notes: 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 some 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, Ph: 01 4748835 / 087 9016880
Pia Phelan, Senior Communications Manager, EY Ireland, Ph: 087 9327702