KBC latest in Irish bank exodus

Belgian-based KBC has become the latest lender to announce its intent to leave the Irish market. The announcement came on the morning of Friday, April 16, and is part of a broader exodus of retail banks from the country. Just weeks prior, NatWest, the UK-based owner of Ulster Bank, stated that it would scale back its operations in Ireland considerably over the course of the next year. KBC is also in talks with Bank of Ireland to sell its existing loans and deposits.

Why have banks been so keen on exiting the Irish loan market? In the case of Ulster Bank, it had been struggling to make returns on investment deemed acceptable by NatWest. KBC’s chief executive, Johan Thijs, stated that talks with Bank of Ireland were being conducted in light of “…the challenging operational context for European banks…” One potential explanation for this trend is the relatively low interest rate environment of Ireland making it difficult for banks to see adequate returns. Further, the market saw a general trend downward from 2015 to 2020, with an average industry …

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Mortgage lenders in Ireland

There are ten mortgage lenders in Ireland. AIB, Bank of Ireland, EBS, Finance Ireland, Haven, ICS/Dilosk, KBC, PTsb, Ulster Bank and Credit Unions.

A mortgage broker can help you make an application to all of them except for the EBS who don’t distribute through brokers and Credit Unions who have to be applied to directly and individually.

The main comparison between lenders is their interest rate, but there are many other features of a loan to consider such as the rates that may apply after a fixed rate expires, cash-back and other terms and features that are specific to loans from certain banks.

For instance, some lenders will let you overpay a fixed rate mortgage, others will penalize you if you do that. To find out more get in touch and we can help you figure out what lender is the best for your circumstances.

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If you need mortgage assistance during the covid 19 pandemic

Below is a list of numbers for the banks where you can speak to representatives who will be able to assist you with any concerns you have about making mortgage payments during the covid19 pandemic.

AIB 1890 252008

Bank of Ireland 01 6113333

EBS 1850 330044

Finance Ireland 1890 995998

Haven Mortgages 1850 654329

ICS Mortgages 1890 542542

KBC Bank 1800 939244

Permanent tsb 0818 502424

Ulster Bank 1800 435763

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Today FM The Last Word features Irish Mortgage Brokers talking about Ulsterbank loan sale

We were happy to take part in a conversation on the Last Word with Matt Cooper about the recent Ulsterbank loan sale, Karl Deeter was there for Irish Mortgage Brokers and Mick Barry TD was also part of the interview.

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Irish Housing Market Full of Problems

Problems have been arising with mortgage interest rates in Ireland for quite some time now.  As there has been a worsened housing market and much conflict has arisen from it, the uncertainty of many different aspects have come to arise.

Many banks have had to make competitive advances in the market just to stay relative and appealing to their customers. The housing market has simply become a game in Ireland.

Without constant changing rates, their appeal would diminish, in turn, causing a fall in their overall customer base. A rapid decline in business would quickly be seen.

Most recently, Ulster Bank announced more drastic cuts to their interest rates that would, in turn, also affect their fixed rate mortgage offerings. This was done as a way to stay competitive as many other primary banks for lending have been recently seen as doing similar things.

The Irish housing market is offering customers some of the highest variable rates accessible across the eurozone. Ireland’s average variable rate stands at 3.37% while the rest of the eurozone has an average of just 1.8%. …

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The Mortgage Rate War

Good news is underway for those looking to enter the housing market, but find borrowing rates to be making it too expensive.

There’s a mortgage rate war.

Though this term sounds less than appealing, it is a war in favor of getting lower rates to borrowers and moving more first time buyers into the housing market.

As discussed in a previous posting, Ulster bank recently announced dramatic cuts in their variable and fixed mortgage rates.

The question racking everyone’s brain after such an announcement was, will other banks fall in line to stay competitive in the market?

Ulster caused increased competition in the market and even more so, posed a threat to the other banks.

These other banks were beginning to notice that in order to stay competitive they only had one choice…

To get to Ulster Bank levels or face the result that they may lose all new entrants into the market as well as some of the old.

Shortly after the announcement of Ulster Bank to reduce their mortgage rates, followed KBC …

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Cash back deals: are banks manipulating borrowers?

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) warned lenders last month about their use of cashback deals and loyalty discounts. The commission believes that such incentives may be detrimental to consumers and may reflect unhealthy competition in the mortgage market.

 

Cash back deals have become more and more common in the market in recent years. These deals work by giving borrowers a certain percentage of their total mortgage amount back at the start of their loan, and they mostly target first time buyers who may need the extra money on hand to furnish their homes or to tide them through a tough transitional time in life.

 

A quick look around the market reveals that major lenders, such as AIB, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, EBS and KBC, all have similar cash back deals, mostly ranging from 2-3% or €1500-€2000. The catch on these loans however, is that interest rates on them are often higher than the average on traditional loans. This means that over the term of the loan, extra interest paid  may turn out to be much …

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Bank of Ireland cuts mortgage rates

Bank of Ireland recently announced new and reduced mortgage rates, which will be available starting Friday the 16th. The highlight is cuts of fixed mortgages rates up to 0.35% for both existing customers and for first-time buyers. The bank decision ups its competition in Ireland’s reviving property market and marks Bank of Ireland as the fourth lender that has cut its rates within the last two months. KBC Bank cut its fixed rate in April, and currently has one of the lowest rates on the market. Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are the other two lenders who have also taken similar measures.

 

Bank of Ireland’s fixed rate mortgages are based on a property’s loan to value ratio. It has cut its rates for first time buyers with an Loan to Value ratio of 81-90% by 0.25%. Customers with greater down payments and lower Loan to Values ratios also see their mortgage rates cut between 0.1%-0.25%. The greatest reductions however have been for Bank of Ireland’s existing customers, who see their mortgage rates fall by 0.35% if they have a …

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Two identical first time buyers walk into a bar, one qualifies, the other doesn’t

The Central Bank rules on curtailing mortgage lending have had an interesting effect, first is that we are seeing more loans draw down that might not have because people are bringing forward consumption due to the fact they won’t qualify for the same amount again in the future. This is literally the opposite of the intended effect.

Second is that it’s causing chaos for prospective buyers who may hold an exemption or need an exemption because there are quarterly reporting rules that mean banks can’t offer a new loan until they know if an old one will be drawn or become an NTU (not taken up).

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is explain it, currently you can’t get an exemption from Ulsterbank or AIB/EBS/Haven or BOI, but you can from PTsb and KBC. The banks that can’t give you one (and remember it’s only one of LTV or LTI not both) are hogtied because they have given the limit of exemptions (c. 15%-20% of lending) already in loan offers and they have to estimate both the annual and quarterly …

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