Postponed – Building Good Culture in Banking – Postponed

We regret that, due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, BPFI have taken the decision, in the interest of general safety, to defer our Culture Conference to a later date. The event was due to take place on Thursday 26th March. We will be in touch with a proposed new date in due course and we really  hope that you will be available to join us then.

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), in association with Eversheds Sutherland, will host a half day conference ‘Building Good Culture in Banking’ on Thursday 26th March 2020 in the BPFI Conference Suite, Floor 3, One Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 from 9.00am – 12.30pm.

As banks in Ireland implement various initiatives to embed good culture across their institutions, this conference will present a number of case studies from other European markets to illustrate the experience of other banks on that journey: learning from past mistakes, measuring, monitoring and managing conduct risk, inspiring bank personnel to do the right thing, taking steps to embed good culture.

The conference will also look at the important issue of individual accountability: this will include hearing from the Financial Conduct Authority about the UK experience to date, as well as consideration of the possible shape of the regime proposed for here.

Bookings
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

Ireland’s Top Scoring Business Students Awarded for Outstanding Achievement

Four students from secondary schools across the country have been awarded with gold medals for their outstanding achievements in the 2019 Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate business exams.

The winners received their medals as part of the Business Studies Teachers’ Association of Ireland (BSTAI) Achievement Awards, hosted by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) at their offices on Molesworth Street, Dublin. The awards recognise the top scoring students nationally in Accounting, Economics and Business at Leaving Certificate Level and Business Studies at Junior Certificate Level.

The medals were presented by BPFI President Gavin Kelly and Margaret McDonnell, Honorary President, BSTAI.

The winning students were as follows:
Leaving Certificate Accounting
Name: Moya Whelan
School: Rockwell College, Cashel, Co Tipperary
Teacher: Mr Michael Doyle
Principal: Ms Audrey O’Byrne

Leaving Certificate Business
Student: Sean Dillon
School: Colaiste An Spioraid Naoimh, Bishopstown, Cork
Teacher: Mr Anthony Malone
Principal: Ms Brenda Moriarty

Leaving Certificate Economics
Name: Bailey O ‘Rourke Lane
School: John the Baptist CS, Hospital, Co Limerick.
Teacher: Ms Michelle Woulfe
Principal: Ms Noreen Rafferty

Junior Certificate Business Studies
Name: Clíodhna Cashman
School: St Mary’s High School, Castleredmond, Midleton, Co Cork
Teacher: Ms Queally
Principal: Mr Donnchadh Ó Briain

For further information contact: Jillian Heffernan, Head of Communications, BPFI, 087 9016880

First-time buyers continue to drive mortgage drawdown and approvals activity – BPFI data

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today published the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q4 2019 and BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for December 2019.

The following are the key figures from the Mortgage Drawdowns Report for Q4 2019:

  • 12,259 new mortgages to the value of €2,768 million were drawn down by borrowers during the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • This represents an increase of 1.2% in volume and 5% in value on the corresponding fourth quarter of 2018.
  • It also represents an increase of 3.9% in volume and 4.9% in value compared with the previous quarter (Q3 2019).
  • First-time buyers (FTBs) remained the single largest segment by volume (52%) and by value (53%).

In addition, BPFI also published today the latest figures from the BPFI Mortgage Approvals Report for December 2019. The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 2,964 mortgages were approved in December 2019 – some 1,531 were for FTBs (51.7% of total volume) while mover purchasers accounted for 763 (25.7%).
  • The number of mortgages approved rose by 1.9% year-on-year but fell by 29.1% compared with the previous month. This reflects the seasonal trends generally seen at this time of year (in the past four years, approval volumes have dropped by 28-30% between November and December).
  • Mortgages approved in December 2019 were valued at €696 million – of which FTBs accounted for €362 million (52%) and €204 million by mover purchasers (29.4%).
  • The value of mortgage approvals rose by 6.1% year-on-year but fell by 27.5% month-on-month – again due to seasonal factors.

The BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns and Mortgage Approvals reports can be viewed on the BPFI website here.

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

 

BPFI calls for measures to address separated borrowers in mortgage arrears

1 in 10 mortgage arrears cases estimated to involve separated borrowers

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today called for consideration to be given to a number of possible policy and legislative measures that would better enable lenders to deal with separated borrowers in the context of mortgage arrears.  BPFI estimates that cases involving separated borrowers account for 10% of all mortgage arrears cases.

The call arises from a BPFI analysis of how lenders currently deal with a mortgage arrears case which involves separated borrowers – an analysis which was prompted by a query from Deputy Michael McGrath, the Fianna Fáil Finance Spokesperson.

The BPFI analysis shows that lenders have to adopt a case-by-case approach because of the commercial, legal and other complexities involved.  The potential solutions tabled can range from treating each party as a single borrower with the repayment capacity assessed on an individual basis, but with both borrowers remaining liable for the outstanding debt; to offering certain short-term alternative repayment arrangements (ARAs) if only one party is engaging; or other longer-term options where the agreement of both parties is forthcoming.

Notwithstanding the complexities, what is common across all the main lenders is the commitment to find a resolution, wherever possible.  This is captured, as follows, in the current Framework Agreement for Late Stage Mortgage Arrears between BPFI and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS): “Where borrowers are separated (and evidence of same is provided) and are not both in communication, the lender will consider a proposal from a MABS Dedicated Mortgage Adviser on behalf of a client who is in a position to service the mortgage in its original contractual form or in any ARA form which may be applied to it.”

BPFI believes that consideration should be given by our regulators, policy makers and legislators to introducing new measures which could greatly help the plight of separated borrowers with mortgage arrears.  These could include one or more of the following.

  • Regulation – the possibility of new regulatory provision to facilitate the engaging party and the non-cooperating party to find a workable solution.
  • Insolvency Legislation –the possibility of legislative change which would allow a lender to pursue a co-debtor who, unlike the other party in an insolvency arrangement, has not been cooperating and is not a party to the arrangement.
  • Court-approved agreements – the possibility of Court-approved agreements to be put in place that may override the scope currently afforded to the non-cooperating borrower to veto an agreement.
  • Mediation – the possibility of amending the provisions of the Mediation Act 2017 to oblige solicitors in family law cases to also include the issue of the mortgage as part of the mediation stage in a separation.

Speaking on the complexity of the matter Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive, said: “Lenders are doing all they can to accommodate mortgage arrears cases involving separated borrowers.  But there is only so much they can do on their own given the complexities involved. This is why we are calling today for consideration to be given to some new measures which we believe could greatly help address the complexities that arise with mortgage arrears cases that involve separated borrowers.  I have now written to a number of relevant parties about this including the Central Bank of Ireland, the Insolvency Service, the Department of Finance, the Department of Justice and Equality as well as MABS; and I have informed Deputy Michael McGrath of our position as he was the first to raise this important matter with us.  We all wish to see the outstanding level of mortgage arrears reduced as effectively and quickly as possible which is why we will be hoping for a constructive response.”

 

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.

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

BPFI Announces Appointment of Three New Directors

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has announced the appointment of three new directors to its Leadership Team. Niamh O’Donnellan has been appointed Director of Regulation & Supervision, Richard Walsh as Director of Industry Collaboration & Innovation and Olivia Buckley as Director of Public Affairs.

Speaking about today’s announcement Brian Hayes, BPFI Chief Executive said: “I look forward to working with Niamh, Richard and Olivia in their new roles bringing as they do a fresh perspective and expertise to the BPFI leadership team.

Effective as of January 1st, 2020 the appointments coincide with the forthcoming retirements of Felix O’Regan, formerly Director of Public Affairs and Maurice Crowley, formerly Director of Banking & Payments. The BPFI Chief Executive said: “I would like to thank Felix and Maurice for their significant contribution and commitment to the organisation and the banking and financial services sector in Ireland”.

Niamh O’Donnellan joined BPFI in 2016 as Head of EU Affairs. Based in Brussels she engaged on all policy and regulation originating from the European Union Institutions and related bodies/agencies. Niamh previously held roles in both the European Parliament as an advisor to the former Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and also the Council of Ministers as a member of the Presidency team during the Irish Presidency 2013 in Brussels. Niamh also worked as a Strategic Consultant advising financial services companies on regulatory and policy developments of relevance to the financial sector and how to engage with the European Union institutions on such matters. She holds an MSc in Economics and Finance, a degree in International Commerce and Italian and a diploma in French Language and Culture.

Richard Walsh joined BPFI in 2017 as Head of Digital and Payments working to formulate positions and responses to Digital and Payment policy and regulation at national, EU, and international level. Before joining BPFI, Richard was CEO for FinTech & Payments Association of Ireland (FPAI) and managed the merger of the association into BPFI. In the years prior to this Richard provided consultancy in the development of digital commerce strategies for companies such as RBS/NatWest, Telefónica Group, Bank of Ireland, Monitise and Three Ireland. Richard has a degree in Mathematics from Trinity College Dublin.

Olivia Buckley is a strategic communications and public affairs specialist who has worked with leading Irish companies and organisations for over 20 years.  She has worked with a diverse range of national and multinational clients in sectors including taxation, manufacturing, agri-business, politics and privately-owned Irish enterprises.  Ms. Buckley has led a number of campaigns, including on EU referenda in Ireland and has been an adviser to key groups in Ireland and the UK on Brexit. She is an established media commentator and contributor on business, enterprise and economic issues. She holds a B.Sc. Management (TCD) and a Diploma in Strategy and Innovation from UCD Smurfit School.

 

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: Russell Bryce, BPFI, tel 01-6715311

Many businesses not prepared for Brexit – BPFI urges action

Up to 85% of SMEs face a Brexit impact – yet many not prepared

BPFI publishes Brexit Banking Checklist for SMEs

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) has today urged SMEs to prepare for a Brexit impact; and has published a Brexit finance checklist for SMEs outlining key advice on financial and banking preparedness ahead of the UK’s expected exit from the EU at the end of January. The checklist provides information on a range of areas including custom guarantees, currency volatility, cashflow management and credit supply.

With a recent survey by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) showing that 72% of SMEs will experience some or a high impact from an ‘orderly Brexit’ – rising to 85% in the event of a ‘no deal Brexit’ – BPFI is urging SMEs to take all preparatory steps.  This includes engaging with their bank to ensure that they can arrange for any funding or guarantees needed to help avoid undue disruption to business.

Speaking about the information BPFI has published today and the advice to SMEs to talk with their bank and ensure they are fully prepared, BPFI’s Head of Funding & Resolution, Marian McCarville said:

“The reality of Brexit as it now approaches is that there will be implications for a huge number of SMEs. It is concerning that not all businesses are as prepared as they could be; the recent DBEI survey for example shows 49% of SMEs identify that they could be impacted by the need for customs declaration, yet only 10% have taken action on this.  Also, while 14% of SMEs say that hedging currency/investment issues could impact them, only 3% have taken action at this point. So too, for liquidity/currency issues where 26% believe they could be impacted but only 4% have taken action.

It is essential that SMEs are proactive in assessing the impacts for their business, planning what actions need to be taken to mitigate the risks and capitalise on opportunities, and making sure their business model is adapted as needed to meet their own particular circumstances.

The objective of the information we are publishing today is to provide a quick finance checklist which we hope will prompt SMEs to review some of the more common Brexit-related financing requirements. It is important for SMEs to engage with their bank to ensure that they can arrange for any funding or guarantees needed to avoid undue disruption to business.”

The information, Brexit, Business and Banking is available on the BPFI website here.

 

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.

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

Mortgage approvals for November 2019 show continued year-on-year growth

Almost 4,200 mortgages to the value of €960 million were approved in November

Strongest growth evident with first-time buyers – volume up 8.6% year on year

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

The following are the key elements:

  • A total of 4,182 mortgages were approved in November – some  2,109 (50.4%) were for first-time buyers (FTBs) while mover purchasers accounted for 1,112 (26.6%).
  • The number of mortgages approved fell by 7.4% month-on-month and rose by 2.0% year-on-year.
  • Mortgages approved in November 2019 were valued at €960 million – of which FTBs accounted for €493 million (51.3%) and €303 million (31.5%) by mover purchasers.
  • The value of mortgage approvals fell by 5.8% month-on-month and rose by 7.2% year-on-year.

Re-mortgage/switching activity fell by 3.1% in volume on the previous month and by 11.6% year-on-year.

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

“While mortgage approvals for November were down on the previous month, this was expected due to the seasonal effect that we typically see in the latter stages of the year. Looking at the recent underlying trends, approvals grew both in volume and value terms year-on-year with the First-time buyer segment showing consistent growth and this continues to be a key driver of the market.”

[*] 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: Russell Bryce, tel. 01-6715311