Banks in Ireland Expecting to Slow in Recovery

According to a new study done by stockbroking firm Davy, Ireland’s banks can expect to see a slowing in recovery and business activity within the first quarter as the government extends the current lockdown that is Level 5 until foreseeable, March 5th. Even though recently, large banks such as AIB and the Bank of Ireland has reported that in the last quarter of 2020, the lending and other business activities have recovered more than projected from the slump at the start of the quarantine. Still, Davy’s analysts report that they do not expect lenders to book material additional to loan-loss provisions after last year as many of the consumers are looking at these on a case-by-case basis.

The extension of the lockdown and corresponding restrictions are likely to impact the recovery seen in Q3 and Q4 of 20-20, and will likely hit Q1 of 2021, which is seasonally the weakest quarter for new lending in Ireland. House buying will probably require a conservative approach from businesses to limit risk in the new market of loosening restrictions. Individual buyers and businesses …

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Vaccination Debates at the World Economic Forum

During day two of the World Economic Forum at Davos this past Tuesday, European Commission president Ursula con der Leyen announced the agenda and push towards social media and Tech Giants to publicly release their business models and their algorithms. She wishes for more visibility into these large corporations and their platforms due to the fact that certain decisions and trends on social media need explaining.

Leyen’s uses the incident of former President Trump’s account to be removed from Twitter as an example of how companies are free to act at; will and this incident was a serious violation of an individual’s freedom of expression. She wishes for companies to release their framework of laws for such decisions.

In the World Economic Forum, South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa also urges richer countries to prohibit hoarding vaccines, due to the risks of prolonging the pandemic in other poorer countries. Many African countries are being left behind in the international race of producing and purchasing COVID vaccines. There is deep concern in my third-world countries that richer countries will abuse their economic …

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Morgan Stanley Borrowing on the Bond Market

The stock market and Trading has been the hot topic of the past decade. Many young individuals look towards buying and trading stocks as the next fast way to make money. But the market is much harder to understand than it seems on the surface.

Morgan Stanley, one of the largest American based investment banks, has recently invested just over 400 million Euros on the bond market to secure against a group of buy-to-let mortgages and owner-occupiers located in Ireland. And of these, some vulture funds were bought not from the banks themselves, but rather from third-party locations such as Lone Star and Cerberus.

Generally, a vulture fund is a type of hedge fund, which is privately owned and operated. They are invested in debt considered to be weak or at default, which is also known as distressed securities. These vulture funds are looking to manage and overturn these debts to draw in a profit. Yet despite the large number of home loans in Ireland that were price-reduced following the most recent crash, vulture funds are seeing a hard time …

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Crack Down on Money Laundering

Everyone has heard of the term “Money Laundering”, but most fail to understand what exactly it is and how it affects not only our daily lives but also a county’s economy. Money Laundering is an illegal process that individuals can take advantage of to hide the origins of where money was obtained illegally. This is most often done by passing the money through a complex number of bank transfers to eventually erase and hide where the money originated. In the end, the money launderer receives the “clean” money.

Ireland has had a history of struggling with cracking down on money laundering, and in light of having to pay nearly 2 million Euro to the European Commission in July 2020 for failing to implement regulations, a new law has been passed in an attempt to begin intensifying legislation around anti-money laundering. The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2020, was signed on May 5th, 2020.

This Bill aims to: 1: Prevent the creation of anonymous safe-deposit boxes by credit and financial institutions 2: Continuously improve on the customer …

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Help To Buy For First Time Buyers

The name provides a definition for itself. First time home buyers are people in the market buying a home for the first time. Compared to other home buyers, such as trader-up borrowers and mortgage switchers, first time buyers have different benefits and restrictions when borrowing than other borrowers. The Central Bank of Ireland requires a 10% down payment for first time buyers. Now, for first time buyers, a 45,000 euro down payment for a 450,000 euro home may be somewhat daunting. However, the Central Bank has offered assistance for their first time buyers to keep them in the market. The Central Bank offers a help to buy program. This benefit allows for first time buyers of new houses and apartments to take a 5% tax rebate off of properties less than 500,000 euros. In a recent case at Irish Mortgage Brokers, a married couple came looking for a mortgage on their first home. The couple did not have a home in mind at the time, but based on their income, the couple had roughly below 500k to spend. Both individuals …

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Tracker Mortgage Scandal

A tracker mortgage is a mortgage that has its rate tied to the European Central Bank rate. AIB and other banks looked to force people as many people as it could off of loss-making mortgages. After the market crash in 2008, it became expensive for many banks to borrow. The banks hurt themselves a lot with bad lending practices before the market crash. Once the market did crash, many of the mortgages were actually costing the banks money.

Instead of taking the financial burden, many of the banks looked to be sneaky. They looked to push people off of the mortgages in questionable ways.  The Irish Times estimate that scandal costs have surpassed 1.5 billion Euro.

What is even more crazy is that financial services knew about the banks being suspect. Many people went to court and lost. However, it is believed that many of the banks had a voice on these committees.

PTSB and Springboard Mortgages were the first two banks caught in the scandal. It is estimated that 1,400 people had their loans mismanaged by both companies. Some …

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Safety Nets for Consumers in Mortgage Arrears

According to The Central Bank of Ireland, at the end of June 2019, there were 723,280 private residential (PDH) mortgage accounts for principal dwellings held. Of this, 61,901 accounts still had outstanding payments, also referred to as being in arrears. as of June, there were a total of 61,901 total accounts in arrears. Within that, over 18,000 were within 90 days overdue, almost 5,000 were up to 180 days overdue and a staggering 27,792 accounts were over 720 days overdue. However, at the end of the quarter only 1,407 homes were repossessed. So what protections do homeowners have when they are in arrears? In Ireland there are many codes and acts that are specifically designed to protect the family home from repossession.

The main code that deals with family homes, is the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) which was put into place in 2013. The code is issued by the Central bank and relates to customers in arrears and pre-arrears situation. It does not however deal with investment properties. This code requires mortgage lenders to apply the Mortgage …

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Mortgage Switching is More Common than Central Bank States

Competition between mortgage providers has increased dramatically over the past couple of years. People are switching more frequently than every before trying to find the best mortgage rate for themselves. Over the last three years, the percentage of mortgage holders prepared to switch providers has doubled according to a banking sector report. Additionally, these figures are higher than what the official figures from the Central Bank are. Also, the Irish Banking & Payments Federation (IBPF) marks the rate of switching at over 15% which compares to the slightly more than 1% rate that the Central Bank has pit forward.

The federation suggests that the much lower calculations from the Central Bank could have a negative effect on how willing consumers are to search around for value. The IBPF notes the difference in numbers is caused by the Central Bank using the number of mortgages being switched as a percentage of total outstanding private dwelling house credit. IBPF stated, “This gives rise to a figure of less than 1 per cent for the current level of mortgage-switching activity” and “Crucially, this …

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Parent’s continue to pay

Mortgages can be extremely overwhelming to any buyer, but especially those new to the market. Competition in the market is at extremely high levels, especially within the major Irish cities. This is due to rising house prices, little availability, and the intensity that comes with making an offer against other prepared competitors. In order to make an offer on any property, there are many hurdles that you must be able to jump through to even begin being an eligible purchaser. 

Loans have become much harder to get approval for as a first time buyer, especially if your credit history is not as detailed or robust as another person applying for the same type of loan. With high intensity competition beginning at stage one of getting a loan, many possible home buyers feel distressed from the get go. 

With Brexit on the horizon, banks have an iron hold on most of their funding; they are being extra selective about loan recipients in the hopes that they will have no issues in the repayment process.

Under the Central Bank rules, first time …

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Mortgage rates take Irish lendee cash

Ireland has been known to have one of the highest interest rates on mortgages out of all of the countries in the European Union. High interest rates are not uncommon, due to differentiation of financial records of possible lendees, but a high average rate surely is. According to a survey done by Goodbody stockbrokers, a mortgage rate in Ireland is 1.7 times more than the Eurozone average. 

Although this is extremely high, when you take out many of the benefits and cash back opportunities that the Irish banks provide the rate ends up lowering to around 1.25 times more. This rate is still high, leaving some people who have taken out a loan with significant extra costs as the years of their loan repayment diminish. 

A recent study by the Central Bank has proven this point, showing that a family who has a loan of €300,000 could pay up to €60,000 extra in a scenario where the loan lasted for 25 years. This is a very large sum of money, all of which is owed to the bank simply for …

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