Are capital requirements for Irish banks too high?

In the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008, the European debt crisis, and the Irish banking crisis, in 2014 regulations were passed aimed at promoting higher banking standards to prevent similar crises in the future.

The first of these rules states that all Irish banks have initial starting capital of at least €5 million; they must always be in excess of this amount. Further, lenders have claimed that they must hold up to three times the capital for mortgages relative to average requirements throughout the rest of the EU.

These regulations largely seem to have accomplished the job they were instated, with the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) stating that there has been an increase in high quality loans and a corresponding decrease in problem loans.

However, there has been criticism as of late for the continued implementation of these rules, and for the harsh conditions they impose on lenders. It is possible that borrowers are also adversely affected by extension. For instance, it is claimed by major Irish banks that the high capital requirements are …

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How the Biden administration’s new proposition might affect Ireland

A key part of Ireland’s appeal to international investment has been its pro business infrastructure and low corporate tax rate of 12.5%, and for decades major U.S. corporations have made use of that infrastructure and tax rate. Some prominent examples include Google, Facebook, and Apple, which famously made use of the notorious “double Irish” tax loophole in the 1990s. International firms have become an integral part of the Irish economy of today, to say the least.

However, U.S. President Joe Biden has introduced a new tax proposition that might change that dynamic. It has suggested that U.S. corporations be subject to a global minimum corporate tax rate, with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recommending a rate of 21%. This would work in the following way: if a U.S. firm has operations in Ireland and pays the lower Irish tax rate for those operations, the U.S. government would be able to apply additional taxes on that revenue until it reaches a rate of 21%. The rationale behind this proposal is to make ensure a more fair and level playing field, while …

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Types of mortgages and lending rules

Irish law has specialized sets of lending rules depending on the type of mortgage application. Types of applications are split into three different categories: first-time buyers, remortgaging or switching, and buy-to-let buyers. Depending on which of these categories an application falls under, different loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits will be used. The former refers to the minimum deposit a borrower must have on a home before getting a mortgage loan. The latter refers to the maximum amount of money borrowers can receive in relation to their yearly gross income; while this is normally capped at 3.5 times one’s income, lenders can provide additional allowances of varying amount depending on the type of application.

Firstly, there are first-time buyers. These applicants are those buying a house for the first time, so the deposit required by LTV limits is understandably less steep. They will need to have a minimum deposit of 10% of the home’s total value. For example, if the price of a home is listed as €250,000, a 10% deposit would amount to €25,000. Lenders are allowed to have …

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The fastest way to get a mortgage

What is the fastest way to get a mortgage in Ireland today? To those unfamiliar and/or engaging with the process for the first time, it can seem drawn out and overly complicated. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. While different people will likely want to use different approaches, but there are some general rules that everyone can follow to ensure their application goes as smoothly as possible.

The first thing one should do is make sure their financial situation is otherwise well and accounted for. In addition to employment and income, this can include things like home insurance and valuation of the property. One should also consider how long they’ve lived in Ireland; depending on the lender, this may be important in their consideration of an application. Borrowers should furthermore ensure that they have good credit and are not too heavily in debt. Lenders are likely to be more apprehensive regarding borrowers with unstable financial backgrounds, as they seem less likely to be able to ultimately repay their loans.

The next things one should keep in mind are …

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Many Misconceptions about the current ranking of the Irish economy in comparison to other EU countries

A reading using these statistics is not fully accurate simply due to the fact that the statistical distortion created by multinational companies in Ireland sway these numbers. This includes the large activity of transferring the depreciation of intellectual property. AAlso the large number of leasing companies that have moved their headquarters to Ireland in the recent years. The latest GDP statists that have been published internationally show that Ireland’s per capita GDP comes in 5th place out of the 182 countries, and Ireland is first in all of Europe. While these large profits are within the Ireland borders, the majority of these profits are being funnelled by foreign multinational companies that in turn use their profits elsewhere.

In fact, using these skewed statistics like GDP can mislead data in other matters, such as debt, inequality, and worker laws. The GNI statistics is an alternative measure to the GDP, however, it is also affected by the large number of multinational companies located in Ireland and is not a clear representation of the average Irish citizen’s financial situation.

When we look at …

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What does Ireland truly stand economically compared to other European powers? (pt. 2)

Much of what the general public and media base their assumptions on a country’s current standings goes with the profits being reported by foreign multinational corporations that reside in that country. These multinational corporations (MNC’s) have tended to flatter Irish’s GDP growth. Since most of these profits are beneficial to foreign parents instead of the Ireland economy, they do not affect international measurements such as GNI. But in recent years, actions taken by these firms have seen effect to not only GNI but GDP as well.

The differences are now that the large capital assets owned by these MNCs are now operating in Ireland. And these Intellectual property assets are often owned by information technology companies. This asset from abroad contribute to GDP not because of the act of acquisition itself, but once these assets are acquired. The deprecation of the asset and land in Ireland affect the statistics. The deprecation of these assets must be included in the GDP and GNI, as that is what the “G” stands for.

In 2015, many of these large MNCs decided to move …

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What does Ireland truly stand economically compared to other European powers? (pt. 1)

Ireland may not seem to one of the most powerful countries in Europe, but there are also many misleading statistics that surround the State. This leads to a misconception of what the residents of the country truly experience and how life in Ireland plays out. Statistics such as per capita GDP, the Human Development Index, and GDP per head are skewed because of international relations within Ireland. Many times people look at one of the previously mentioned statistics and assume everything about a country on that one number. But you cannot presume that off of one indicator. Multiple accounts and indicators will have to be taken into account when determining the overall status and standing of a country.

Looking at Ireland, many individuals are inclined to believe that the numbers do not show the country as prosperous, but if the small city-state of Luxembourg was taken out of the GDP, Ireland would have the highest GDP per head in all of Europe. When looking at the composite representation of a country, GDP and GNI may not be enough to have …

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The Last Word on TodayFM features Irish Mortgage Brokers, 30/04/2020

We were part of a discussion around Covid19 and mortgages on Matt Cooper’s ‘The Last Word’ show on Today FM yesterday. The other participant was Brian Hayes of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.

For our part we were impressed with the fact that the banks have been able to do more than 2,000 mortgage restructures per working day since the pandemic driven mortgage breaks were announced. To put that in perspective, it took six years to do 100,000 restructures after the financial crisis. This time around that figure could be achieved in a little over two months, that is something to be commended.

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The Rise of Income Inequality in the United States Part 3

Now that we’ve assessed how wealth inequality started and how to improve wealth and saving data, here are some ideas about how to further reduce wealth disparity:

The top 1% savings rate is much higher than both the next 9% and bottom 90% savings rates. One idea that is radical is to encourage long-run savings. The United States government could directly invest in these savings accounts so that they earn great rates of return. The other aspect of this plan would be to have interest in borrowing savings so as to encourage people not to borrow from their savings. Encouraging saving of the bottom 90% would reduce wealth disparity.

Other ideas to reduce wealth disparity include the following:

Increase progressive income taxation to decrease wealth disparity. Increase estate taxes in the United States to decrease inherited wealth Increase access to education and health benefits cost controls. Improve minimum wage policies. This will in effect shift power from shareholders to workers. Create better laws protecting consumers (such as predatory lending) and increase financial regulation to increase middle class wealth. Educate the bottom …

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