Avant Money turned 1 year old, and in that time they changed everything.

Avant Money is part of the Bankinter group and they have been in the market for just one year and in that time they have been transformational in terms of what they have achieved in the current landscape.

To begin with they came in and offered the lowest rates we have ever had since the days of tracker mortgages, their fixed rates were also available for longer durations at these low rates than the other leading rates of the day. After that they brought out a suite of fixed rates which were also at the forefront of the market.

As a lender who distributes exclusively through brokers this is wonderful in our view as it drives people towards independent financial advice and greater selection. We can’t wait to see what Avant Money has coming down the line in year two!

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EBS rate hikes, the benefit of mutuality?

EBS have announced a rate hike of 0.6% which is a follow on from their last 0.6% hike that was levied against variable rate mortgage holders on the 1st of May, this brings their margin increases to a total of 1.2% for the year to date.

Today’s Indo lead with this story (by Charlie Weston) and rightly pointed out that by the time this is over, a person with a €300,000 mortgage over 30 years could expect to pay just over €3,000 a year (after tax) in increased mortgage payments. For a person on the average industrial wage this is like a full months wages before tax being sucked away by the financial system. Tax hikes and wage cuts aside, this will ultimately reduce the money that is being spent in the economy and it will disappear into the financial system where banks will use it to de-lever further.

The contention for many people is that they are being punished, not for what they have done …

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The 'Rich Man' died a 'Pauper'… LTV's and Life Cover

There is a risk creeping into the lives of many that they are not aware of, one that every generation has continually faced and also one that is the greatest wealth destroyer of all, namely death and debt. Nothing kills wealth quicker than death and in particular in circumstances where the estate is not settled correctly in advance or where there are large debts that were not covered.

Every person I know is bulletproof in theory but corporeal in practice and that means that many of us have risks that we are not covering, you can’t cover 100% of the bases 100% of the time but some do need to be covered and it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

How did the rich man die a pauper? We’ll take an example of a person with a home and two RIP’s (residential investment properties), We’ll say that the lady of the house is a solicitor earning €120,000 a year her name is Jane Doe, and the man of …

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The ‘Rich Man’ died a ‘Pauper’… LTV’s and Life Cover

There is a risk creeping into the lives of many that they are not aware of, one that every generation has continually faced and also one that is the greatest wealth destroyer of all, namely death and debt. Nothing kills wealth quicker than death and in particular in circumstances where the estate is not settled correctly in advance or where there are large debts that were not covered.

Every person I know is bulletproof in theory but corporeal in practice and that means that many of us have risks that we are not covering, you can’t cover 100% of the bases 100% of the time but some do need to be covered and it doesn’t have to be rocket science.

How did the rich man die a pauper? We’ll take an example of a person with a home and two RIP’s (residential investment properties), We’ll say that the lady of the house is a solicitor earning €120,000 a year her name is Jane Doe, and the man of …

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Banks: give you an umberella when its sunny and take it back when it rains

Samuel Clemens (aka Tom Sawyer) brought us the quote which is the title of this post, ‘banks give you an umbrella when its sunny out and take it back when it rains’, his simply worded expression held as true in Missouri of the late 1800’s as it does today.

Recently we had a client who is on an interest only mortgage, their circumstances have changed right when their interest only period was about to run out, naturally we suggested that they ask for a continuance of an interest only period, while this won’t work down the capital amount owed it will keep their cash flow alive and if you have to chose between owing more and being unable to pay then the former is preferable. Sitting in a pot might not sound great but it beats the raw fire.

The bank were happy to comply and they sent out a letter, it was at this …

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Forensic Underwriting, when is it 'too much'?

Lenders will underwrite loans. That is part of the process, it is a natural and normal occurrence in finance, to underwrite, to ensure that you are researching the proposed deal to the extent that you can be sure that you are not taking a pointless risk, but when is it ‘too much’?

Traditionally an employee would be asked to give several forms of documentation as evidence of their position so that they could be considered for a loan. Normally this would have been a straight forward process, and one that generally works.

However, as of late we are seeing ‘forensic underwriting’ becoming more prevalent. The degree to which a lender wants to delve into a persons situation is rising beyond the traditional norms and in some cases we believe it is going well beyond the call of duty.

Let’s be frank, we need banks, who else will lend money to a stranger to buy an asset? Without banks it would only occur between people who have a lot of money personally …

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Forensic Underwriting, when is it ‘too much’?

Lenders will underwrite loans. That is part of the process, it is a natural and normal occurrence in finance, to underwrite, to ensure that you are researching the proposed deal to the extent that you can be sure that you are not taking a pointless risk, but when is it ‘too much’?

Traditionally an employee would be asked to give several forms of documentation as evidence of their position so that they could be considered for a loan. Normally this would have been a straight forward process, and one that generally works.

However, as of late we are seeing ‘forensic underwriting’ becoming more prevalent. The degree to which a lender wants to delve into a persons situation is rising beyond the traditional norms and in some cases we believe it is going well beyond the call of duty.

Let’s be frank, we need banks, who else will lend money to a stranger to buy an asset? Without banks it would only occur between people who have a lot of money personally …

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Deflation, the low paid, and expansion of the tax base

Here are some statistics (taken from the SBP) showing that contrary to assertions that the ‘rich don’t pay enough tax’ that in fact they pay more than anybody else. Half of all tax income is paid by the top 6.5% of workers. So about 1/15th contribute 50%. One third of all tax collected comes from the top 2.5% of workers, thus 1/40th are paying 33%. It means that things such as the new 2% levy are merely punishing those who already contribute the most! I wrote about this before when talking about the Laffer Curve and how Ireland may be driving high earners out of its jurisdiction.

Sources have said that the Irish tax base is too dependent on a small number of people, so what would happen if we were to drive them out? The implications are severe.

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Irish Government bonds, what is happening?

Governments often have to raise money to achieve their objectives over the short and medium term, in Ireland we do this by raising bonds which is basically where a buyer (private or institutional) acts as the ‘bank’ for the state. The creditworthiness of our nation is currently the lowest in the Eurozone, below that of countries like Greece and Portugal. This means that we have to pay more interest to attract a buyer.

Today Moody’s (a rating agency) has put Ireland on watch for a debt rating downgrade (it means our debt will be considered less secure), and that means that we will have to pay even more in order to attract new investors for bonds. How this trickles down to the person on the street is simple, we’ll have to foot the bill eventually because the ultimate guarantor of state borrowing are the people in that country. The tools to achieve this with are higher taxes and less public spending, both equally unpopular.

For now we …

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