2008: When banks independently all decided to make a similar decision

This week five years ago is when independent mortgage advisors were in the middle of getting some harsh news, some lenders were pulling out of the market completely, others were informing us of 50% cuts to procurement fees.

Fair or unfair? In light of things like Croke Park it would be seen as totally unfair, you’d never get any other industry that takes a 50% hit like this as fast (and then there is the separate issue of lending dropping 95% on top of the 50% reduction).

Brokerage has already been down the path the public sector are on. I recall sitting across the table from PTsb chief David Guinane who in late 2007 called in the broker bodies and informed them that they were getting a reduction that they might not be happy about, but that this was not something we could negotiate.

There was talk in brokerage of boycotting both them and Irish Life in return, and while we were still debating about what to do all of the other …

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New PTsb products

PTsb have just issued a new rates matrix and the prices are good, they have a standard SVR for all loan to value amounts (ie: 90%) of 3.99% and 3.69% for LTV’s below 70%, these then revert to 4.34% after the first year which is not the market leader but it is right up there in the same ball park.

This (to our thinking) confirms PTsb’s re-commitment to the market, they have said they will up lending to c. €450m from the €60-70 (that’s the mortgage portion, the officially reported 90m includes all credit) they advanced in 2012.

They have also re-deployed staff in their broker centre which was a one person business unit last year! The staffing numbers there will be 5-6 people for 2013 which means there will be ample access for the intermediary channel, obviously direct and branch will also be active, all said it seems likely they may reach their target of €450m new lending.

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Dear Banks, leave me alone… How to speak to them

In the process of negotiating with banks many of our customers feel various things, like intimidation, fear, confusion and anger. In trying to get a lender to give a simple and straight forward response we find that it helps to use a certain language or nomenclature in letters and replies.

The simple truth is that they tend to exert authority if you give them this authority, but if you give them the authority with the express requirement that it forces them to make a painful decision should they act upon it. The letter below is a sample that we have used with a few people who have investment properties and it seems to get a decent result.

Don’t use it until such time as you have filled in your Standard Financial Statement (SFS), the end result you are looking for with a letter like this is to get the lender to accept your rent as full settlement of your account until …

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Four channels, one show, different prices – lending looking up in 2013?

AIB currently have four lending channels, there is AIB direct (their branches), AIB Broker (via the Ballsbridge HQ), EBS (done through branches and administered via the AIB direct system) and finally Haven Mortgages (another broker channel currently still located in the old EBS offices on Burlington Road).

There are four channels all operating off of the same credit pricing and all with different rates! Meaning where you choose to apply will make a big difference, even though under the hood you are getting an identical product. This is a classic example of having a brand name product sold at one price then the ‘own brand’ which is made by the same people as the first one, put into a different package and sold at a different price.

At the moment Haven only lend up to 80% meaning you need a 20% deposit, EBS have gone up to 92% which matches them with AIB (direct and brokerage), so the next rational step is for Haven to go to 92% which we are tipped off will be happening in Q1 of 2013, …

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Best mortgage rates September 2012

Mortgage rates are constantly under review and even though we might be expecting an ECB rate cut this week to 0.5% (which will be a historic low) it is highly likely that rates will sit still or even rise. The conundrum for consumers is about the rate choice, banks have just upped rates prior to any rate cut and by doing this then not passing on a rate cut they actually increase their margin significantly.

The best mortgage rates at present are below:

<50% LTV: AIB 3.34% >80% LTV: AIB 3.79% 1yr fixed: AIB 4.15% 2yr fixed: BOI 4.49% 5yr fixed: PTsb 3.7%*

*The PTsb 5 year fixed rate is a good example of a pricing discrepancy that is related to the PTsb loan book, this rate is excellent, lower than the standard AIB variable and fixed for 5 years! The reason for this is that by lending on this type of property PTsb will increase their assets (to fix the loan to deposit ratio that is too high) quicker and in return they will give up some margin.

If …

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Zombie Banks acting like Zombies

I wrote a piece in today’s Irish Sun about our banks and that the state owned operations are showing a decided lack of inventiveness when it comes to helping existing borrowers.

This may be down to disincentives, issues with management or the Department of Finance, but suffice to say, it doesn’t make sense that non-state owned banks and foreign banks are innovating in potentially beneficial ways for their customers and the banks we paid to save are not.

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Standard Financial Statement or SFS – for people in mortgage arrears

If you go into arrears on your mortgage or you talk to your lender because you believe you are a ‘pre-arrears’ candidate then you will be asked to fill in a ‘Standard Financial Statement‘ or SFS which is part of the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) which started last year.

Engaging with the lender is a key tenet of this and filling in the SFS and liaising with the lender on aspects of it. The information in this is what will be used to negotiate the repayment that you will pay in cases where lifestyle adjustment does not allow you to make the full payment.

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Mortgage Market Trend Outlook 2012

We have made a few more bold predictions in our ‘Mortgage Market Trend Outlook 2012’ and reviewed how wrong many of our 2011 forecasts were as well.

Some of the main points thus far are:

1. That mortgage lending bottomed out in 2011. 2. That IBRC may take on some tracker loan portfolios to de-risk state owned banks (as the state already owns these loans entirely anyway). 3. That rates for existing AIB borrowers will have to go up but that for new borrowers rates may come down with changes to how prices are charged depending on risk of the proposed loan. 4. That deposit rates will start to drop. 5. That up to 25,000 mortgages will be deemed ‘unsustainable’ and that the ‘won’t pay’ contingent of arrears cases may be as high as 1 in 5.

We hope you enjoy this report, we in turn hope that we get some of the calls right!

Many thanks,

Irish Mortgage Brokers

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Best mortgage rates available, December 2011

This is the usual update of rates available at the moment. As you’ll notice, AIB is the leader in almost every section. However, they are not necessarily lending to every client hoping to obtain finance with them – to know if they’ll be the lender of choice you need to construct the application in a manner that will ensure it shows the best aspects of the case to them.

There are lots of other lenders out there too (we deal with the pillar banks and many others as well), so looking at ‘best rate’ is perhaps different than ‘best attainable rate’.

Anyway, here is the list, if you ever want mortgage advice give us a call! 016790990

Best variable rate mortgage: AIB 3.24% (with one for 2.84% < 50% LTV)

Best 1yr fixed rate mortgage: AIB 4.15%

Best 2yr fixed rate mortgage: PTsb 3.1% < 50% LTV, otherwise AIB 4.65%

Best 3yr fixed rate mortgage: AIB 4.88%

Best 5yr fixed rate mortgage: PTsb 3.7% < 50% LTV, otherwise its AIB 5.35%

Best 10yr fixed rate mortgage: n/A 12/2011

Oh, one …

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