Who is telling porkies? Lending figures v.s. Advertisements

In the first quarter of 2010 there were c. 62 business days, and from this time frame we have gotten the most recent lending figures from the Irish Bankers Federation on mortgages in Ireland. Those figures stated that there were 6,954 mortgages drawn down in the first quarter of 2010 equating to €1.22bn in lending.

Those are the hard facts.

Then come the contradictions. AIB claim to have about 40% of the mortgage market – that headline is from last November but we can assume it should still remain at above 30%, an institutional contraction of 25% would be known because it would definitely make headlines (the 40% of the market AIB has is 100% to them so if it fell to 30% that would be a 25% reduction on their single institution figures). Back on topic – if we accept that AIB is holding at least 30% of the market then that means they were responsible for 2,086 mortgages.

EBS are saying they have about 28% of the market, up from 21% last year. The bit I like best is where they say that one in two people who go direct to a bank for a mortgage went to EBS. Sadly, this doesn’t factor in the reality on the ground – every broker in town has a back door with the EBS via one of their agent branches and clients are regularly sent to them for loans when their more conservative broker wing won’t do the mortgage [EBS are loose on policy when you go direct].  A 28% market share would mean EBS were responsible for 1,947 mortgages.

We didn’t find statements of market share from the other banks, but I think it would be fair to say that between PTsb, Ulsterbank, NIB, INBS and KBC that they were jointly responsible for perhaps 15% of the market? (1,043 mortgages).

So we are now looking at a picture like this: AIB 2086 mortgages + EBS 1947 mortgages + everybody except BOI 1,043 mortgages = 5,076 mortgages

Nothing spectacular there until you get back to the fact that we had about 62 banking days in the first quarter of 2010, because during that time Bank of Ireland were claiming they were doing 100 mortgages a day. That would equate to 6,200 mortgages.

BOI figures 6,200 + everybody else’s figures of 5,076 = 11,276 mortgages

Reality = 6,954 mortgages.

Difference between the two? About 4,322 mortgages or in the region of €870,000,000 in lending.

In a nutshell, somebody somewhere is telling porkies. Who even cares any more.

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