Strong Growth in Mortgage Approvals in July

Over 5,100 mortgages to the value of €1.16 billion were approved in July

Strongest growth evident with First Time Buyers – up 35.3% year on year

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for July 2019.*

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 5,129 mortgages were approved in July – some  2,647 (51.6% of total volume) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,425 (27.8%).
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 14.5% month-on-month and by 21.5% year-on-year.
  • Mortgages approved in July 2019 were valued at €1,162 million – of which FTBs accounted for €616 million (53.0%) and €365 million (31.4%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 12.6% month-on-month and by 24.8% year-on-year.

Re-mortgage/switching approvals also continued to show growth in volume of 8.9% on the previous month and of 4.8% year on year.

Commenting on the figures, Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive, stated:

“The strong growth in approvals for house purchase – both first-time buyers (FTB) and mover purchasers – is particularly notable from the July figures.  In fact, since our data series began in 2011 this is the first time the monthly value of house purchase approvals has exceeded €1 billion. First-time buyers continue to represent the single largest segment of the market by far, with almost 14,900 approvals valued at almost €3.5 billion in the year to date. These approval figures point to a good pipeline of mortgage drawdown activity.”

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 July 2019  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 (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: For further information contact BPFI on 01 6715311 or Russell Bryce, BPFI Public Affairs, 085 1019444

Consumers urged to prepare for changes to online and mobile banking as PSD2 deadline approaches

  • Rollout of European law, PSD2, will provide better protection and reduce fraud by introducing enhanced security steps

  • Consumers should read and follow instructions received from their bank to avoid any inconvenience accessing online and mobile banking services from September 14th

Banking & Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI) is today alerting consumers to prepare for changes in how they access and use their online and mobile banking services with the rollout of PSD2 (the second Payment Services Directive). PSD2 is a new European law coming into full force on September 14th. The upcoming changes aims to provide better protection for consumers and businesses by enhancing security for online banking and thereby reducing fraud.

The increased security measures, known as ‘Strong Customer Authentication’ will see some changes to how customers access and use their online or mobile banking services. The changes will vary slightly across individual banks but will generally take the form of an additional security step before customers can access their online accounts. Customers will have received information in recent weeks from their respective bank advising them of any actions they may need to take, such as registering or updating their mobile phone number or downloading an updated mobile app. It is vital that customers follow these instructions to avoid any inconvenience when accessing their online and mobile banking services from September 14th.

Speaking at the start of a weeklong awareness campaign being run by BPFI to highlight the upcoming changes, Gill Murphy, Head of Payment Schemes, BPFI said: “

‘It is vital that consumers take the time to carefully read the information provided by their bank in relation to PSD2.  This information will outline what changes customers can expect as well as any actions that they may need to take in order to ensure continued access to their online accounts without interruption.  It is important to remember that these changes are being introduced across Europe to help counter fraud and provide better protection for consumers and their online accounts.”

In addition to enhancing security, PSD2 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 will also allow 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 can 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 awareness campaign, which consists of a number of elements including radio advertising and social media outreach, is the second of two campaigns rolled out this summer by BPFI to highlight the upcoming changes. Consumers wishing to find out further information should contact their bank and/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: For further information contact BPFI on 01 6715311

An Garda Síochána and FraudSMART issue alert on Text Message Scam

An Garda Síochána at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau and FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) have today issued an alert the public to an ongoing Text Message Scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts.

Consumers are being advised to be on the alert to the text message or ‘smishing’ scam in which victims receive a text appearing to be from their bank asking them to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account.

Gardaí at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) wish to advise that the focus of the criminals in this latest scam is to obtain personal information that will allow them to steal money from bank accounts. Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, GNECB stated that ‘banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords.” He warned ‘that people receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications. They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action’.

Niamh Davenport, who leads BPFI’s FraudSMART programme, offers the following advice to consumers: “Always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts which appear to be your bank especially those asking for personal details or payments. Your bank will never ask for your personal information so never give your financial or personal information in order to release money, refund fees, or access to your computer. Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks. The scammer will try to rush you, but this is all designed to panic you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do.”

Key Details of the Scam

  • The message will imitate a text from your bank.
  • The message will typically ask you to click on a link to a website to “verify”, “update” or to “reactivate” your account.
  • It may ask you to reply to the text message with personal or financial information or to click on a link to website.
  • If it includes a link, the website is a fake one. The website will then attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information. If clicked on it also could download dangerous software known as malware to your computer or mobile device.
  • Often the text will create a sense of urgency to make you act without thinking e.g. your money is in danger or your account will be frozen.

Warning Signs

The following are some warning signs:

  • The text message will be unsolicited
  • The text message will always seek information that allows access to bank accounts, Note; banks or other financial institutions would not look for that kind of information!!
  • The text will instruct the individual to go to a website or make a phone call to a specified number
  • The text will create a fear that if the customer does not take action requested in the text, their account will be compromised
  • The text will emphasise the need for urgent action by the recipient of the text

What Can You Do?

  • A text from your bank will not ask you for any personal information, only ever respond Y or N to bank text messages.
  • Never respond to a text message that requests your 4-digit card PIN or your online banking details or any other password.
  • Do not respond to unsolicited text/SMS messages before independently validating who the text appears to be from. Never use the number in the text message. For your bank, use the number on the back of your debit / credit card.
  • Don’t be rushed. Take your time and make the appropriate checks before responding.
  • Do not click on a link, attachment or image that you receive in an unsolicited text without first verifying the text and understanding what you are clicking on.
  • If you think you have responded to a Smishing text message, contact your bank immediately.

 

Further advice/information:

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

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

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, An Post 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 100-member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Cross-sector Fintech Foresight Group to drive development of fintech under Government’s financial services strategy

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland leads new collaborative group with representation from banking, technology, academia and government

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today convened a special cross-sector working group tasked with driving the development of  fintech and informing policy  under the Government’s financial services strategy, Ireland for Finance.

Chaired by BPFI, the Fintech Foresight Group brings together representatives from domestic and international banks, global technology companies, indigenous fintech companies, third-level institutions, public sector representatives and international experts.

Reporting to the Minister of State for Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy TD and the IFS Joint Committee, the Group has been tasked with informing government policy on how best Ireland can position itself on technological developments to 2025 and beyond. It will be responsible for delivering specific actions including working with government agencies to increase linkages and encourage collaboration between the IFS sector, technology firms, the education sector and government.

Addressing the group today, Minister Michael D’Arcy, TD, Minister of State for Financial Services said: “It is fantastic to have such a diverse mix of people involved in this Fintech Foresight Group, with individuals from financial services, technology companies, academia, and the public sector. By bringing these stakeholders together, we can aspire to increase the collaboration necessary to drive the development of fintech. Having an open conversation is also very important, allowing us to discuss where we see developments, trends, and opportunities in fintech in the coming years, ensuring that we have continued success in this area.

I look forward to seeing the insights and proposals that result from these sessions. I would also like to thank the BPFI for hosting these workshops.”

Also speaking Richard Walsh,  BPFI’s Head of Digital and Payments Strategy said “Fintech has now moved centre stage in financial services and we are seeing an increasing interest in collaboration between the start-up fintech firms and the more established domestic and international banks.  BPFI and its affiliate, the Fintech & Payments Assocation of Ireland (FPAI), are excited to be able to utilise our unique position as representatives of these two important sectors to help drive these collaborations across the wider financial services sector. Through our extensive engagement cross-industry we look forward to successfully delivering a set of of actionable and concrete insights that will add real value to what is proposed in the Ireland for Finance strategy.

Today’s workshop is one in a series of sessions in which members of the Fintech Foresight Group will assess current global trends influencing financial services; and evaluate how well Ireland is positioned to exploit these trends and what future opportunities Ireland should pursue by leveraging these technologies. The Group’s conclusions will deliver actionable insights for policy formation ensuring the Government’s IFS strategy can capitalise on emerging opportunities and remain relevant to the rapidly changing IFS ecosystem. The workshops are being facilitated by Consult Hyperion who offer advisory services, technical consultancy and software development services to clients across the world.  They have over 30 years of experience in helping clients explore opportunities created by changes in the technology and regulatory landscapes.

 

For further information contact Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, 087 9016880 or jillian.heffernan@bpfi.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 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Banking Sector Supports Extension of Help-to-Buy Scheme

Up to 92% of all first-time-buyers used scheme to buy a new property with a mortgage in 2018/2019

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today highlighted the importance of the Help-to-Buy (HTB) incentive scheme for the stability of the housing market and is supporting its extension. The scheme, which is due to expire at the end of this year, provides a tax rebate of up to €20,000 for first time buyers purchasing a new home.

Figures produced by BPFI show that up to 92% of all first-time buyers buying a new property with a mortgage used the HTB scheme in the period 2018-2019. They further show that the scheme is benefitting all areas including Dublin (29%), Meath (12%), Cork (12%) Kildare (9%) and Galway (4%).

Speaking about the significance of the scheme and the importance of its continuation, Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive stated:

“At 48%, the first-time buyer (FTB) share of the mortgage market is more than double that during the years 2006-2008 so they are a very significant segment of the market today. The Help-to-Buy scheme has been instrumental in supporting FTBs with between 80% and 92% of all FTBs utilising the Scheme in the period 2018-2019, doing so across all parts of the country.”

“The scheme has had a positive effect in supporting demand for FTB houses and in encouraging house builders to build homes to meet this demand. In addition, purchase of a new home generally creates further expenditure of benefit to the economy across a range of items including furniture and fittings, white goods, insurance and utilities.  For these reasons BPFI believes that the scheme should be extended for a clearly-defined period to provide the certainty that is needed going forward.”

 

For further information contact Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, 087 9016880 or jillian.heffernan@bpfi.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 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Students warned of rental accommodation scams ahead of Leaving Cert results

FraudSMART in partnership with An Garda Síochána and Union of Students of Ireland urge students to be vigilant to rental scams and outline key advise to avoid falling victim

FraudSMART in association with An Garda Síochána and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) are today advising consumers, and in particular third level students and their parents, to be alert to rental accommodation scams in which victims get conned into paying a deposit for a property that does not exist or has already been rented, often to multiple people.

The warning comes in advance of the publication this year’s Leaving Cert results and the start of the new college year which will see young people across the country searching for rental accommodation.

Explaining the risks involved and how these scams work Brian Hayes, CEO Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, said: As the leaving cert results approach we understand that young adults will be excited  at the prospect of going to college for the first time and looking forward to their next chapter, but they need to take the time to  research accommodation options before committing to any property. Know the warning signs, understand the risks and do your homework. Equally, for parents and friends we ask them to play their part in assisting young people in to ensure no costly mistakes are made.”

“There are many ways in which rental property scams are carried out however one of the most common ones we see is where the fraudster rents a holiday or short let themselves , they advertise the house for rent and show it to multiple potential tenants with the aim of collecting multiple deposits and then disappear with the money. Another common scam is where the fraudster re-advertises listings of actual available rentals with their own email or phone number, they will often refuse to show you the property but may send photos or keys in exchange for payment of rent and a deposit. In both cases the victims only realise they’ve been scammed after the fraudster has left with their money.”

Also speaking today Lorna Fitzpatrick, President, Union of Students in Ireland said: “It is of the utmost importance that students take caution when viewing properties to rent for the upcoming academic year. The unfortunate truth is that people are taking advantage of students vulnerability when it comes to the housing crisis and accommodation shortage for students in third level education, and profiting off their struggle to find housing. Always view the property in person before putting down any form of deposit, meet with your potential landlord and find out if they are registered with the RTB (residential tenancies board).”

FraudSMART has set out the following advice to help students avoid falling victim to rental scams:

Be Informed:

  • Do your homework – familiarise yourself with the average rent price in your search area. If the rent is unusually low and seems to be good to be true, it usually is.
  • Use online maps to confirm that the property being advertised actually exists and is at the stated address.
  • Check short term rental sites to ensure the property is not being used by a fraudster for fake “viewings” who will take your deposit money.

Be Secure:

  • Keep copies of all correspondence between yourself and the advertiser, including bank details and the advertisement itself.
  • Use legitimate well-known rental agencies where possible.
  • Don’t hand over any money until you have seen the property and are happy with its condition. Once satisfied use a cheque or bank draft to pay the deposit.

Be Alert:

  • Don’t make any payments until you have been given the keys and signed the rental contract. Always check that the keys fit in the lock
  • Remember, don’t transfer money until you have carried out all the relevant checks and you are absolutely sure the listing is genuine.
  • Don’t be embarrassed if you have been scammed. Report it to your local Garda Station and contact your bank.

 Further information on rental and other fraud types can be found on the FraudSMART website www.fraudSMART.ie. FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) on behalf of the banking industry.

 

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

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, Ulster Bank and An Post. The programme 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. 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 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

Further advice/information: www.garda.ie for crime prevention advice and contact details of local Garda Stations.

About USI

  • The Union of Students in Ireland represent over 374,000 students across the island of Ireland.
  • USI are one of the four pillars of the Raise the Roof coalition, a campaign to end the national housing crisis.

For all USI media queries, contact Aoife Duff on:

E: pr@usi.ie
M: 083 881 2270

Banking sector welcomes additional time for rollout of online payment rules for ecommerce businesses under PSD2

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) welcomes today’s Notice from the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) (here) which provides additional time for the implementation of Strong Customers Authentication (SCA) rules for ecommerce transactions due to come into force on September 14th under the PSD2 Directive. This migration period, yet to be defined by the CBI, will allow more time for the ecommerce industry, including online businesses, to implement SCA reforms in a compliant manner. BPFI will continue to work with the CBI on the specifics of the migration period, which we hope will be harmonised across Europe. Notwithstanding today’s notice, from the 14th September card issuing banks in Ireland will continue to process eCommerce payment transactions as they do today.

BPFI and our member banks continue to progress the implementation of all other elements of PSD2, including SCA for online banking, which will be fully rolled out on or before the legislative date of 14th September. We plan launch a further public awareness campaign for consumers around this later this month which follows an earlier campaign rolled out in July – information can be found at www.mypsd2.ie

Speaking on today’s Notice from the CBI, Gill Murphy, Head of Payments Schemes, BPFI said: “Today’s statement by the Central Bank is a very positive development for consumers and online businesses as it will prevent unintended disruption to online shopping from 14th September. That said, any additional time will be limited so it is critical that all ecommerce businesses and operators continue to progress their preparation and implementation at pace”

 

For further information contact Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, 087 9016880 or jillian.heffernan@bpfi.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 100 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.