Could harsher punishments for mortgages in arrears lead to lower rates?

Mortgages are notoriously expensive in Ireland, with rates twice those of the Eurozone average. How best to address this problem has been a hot-button issue in Ireland for some time. Now, some are putting forward a new solution: harsher punishments for borrowers with mortgages in arrears. One of Irish banks’ stated reasons for rates being so high is that failing to meet mortgage payments doesn’t have high enough consequences for borrowers. For example, home repossessions in Ireland aren’t very common, since the process is so complex and can take several years. As a result, loans are riskier investments for lenders in Ireland relative to other Eurozone countries. If this is indeed the reason for rates being high, it follows that tougher treatment of such borrowers would lead to lower rates for everyone else.

Regarding the number of borrowers this would affect, statistics from the Central Bank of Ireland show that 5.3% of all principle dwelling house (PDH) mortgage accounts were in arrears as of December 2020. This percentage includes a total of 38,785 accounts. However, it’s also worth noting …

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Covid-19’s impact on mortgages

The covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on all areas of the financial world, including banks, loans, and mortgages. Mortgage arrears, or payments failed to be made by their original specified due date, had been consistently falling every year since 2013. However, Fitch predicts that arrears of at least 90 days will constitute about 14-16% of Irish home loans this year, their highest rate since the financial crisis.

Additionally, the pandemic has led to widespread payment breaks for mortgages in Ireland. Payment breaks involve the deferring of repayment of a loan to a later date; they do not change, however, reduce the total amount to be paid. In March of last year, the major banks in Ireland agreed to industry-wide payment breaks for those facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This was done out of consideration for borrowers’ situations and lenders’ own desire to avoid high default rates. Ultimately, by May 2020, one in nine owner-occupier mortgage payments was on such a break.

Though this measure was taken of the industry’s own volition, soon after, the …

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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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State of the European Stock Market

European stocks have seen better days than the dip they are currently experiencing. This dip has largely been due to the rising bond yields seen in the market. These have spurred hopes of seeing a solid economic recovery in the European markets. As of this past Thursday, the Dublin market closed virtually unchanged compared to recent numbers. Banks, on the other hand, had been affected more wildly with the Bank of Ireland up nearly 2.5% and the AIB up nearly 3.6%.

Housebuilders have also seen some changes in the market with Bairn Homes closing at nearly 1.9% higher. For other industries such as food stocks, Glanbia closed at nearly a 1.6% increase. For London’s Ftse 100 reversed, they were able to close with a relatively strong week. The total of the Gtse 100 index closed at 0.4% higher, which is the second consecutive week that investors have seen a rise despite the coronavirus still being prevalent. Even though there has been looser COVID-19 restrictions and the vaccination program picking up speed.

Other Bank stocks such as HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, …

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Is combining Finance the right thing to do?

Finally! Today is the day, your significant other is moving in with you!  A dream that finally came true and you both are dancing happily. But then, the first rent bill comes, and you are stuck. How should I handle or now how do WE handle it? Back in the day, typically couples were married and combined all aspects of their lives together. All was now family property. Times have changed, couples are moving in together before marriage without any legal binding and it leaves them wondering, how do we handle our finances? Should you and your significant other consolidate your finances or maintain your own finances independently?

How many couples have their finances shared, separated, or some of both? Millennials that live together are more likely to keep their finances separated than any other group. There are many advantages to keeping them separate. One may be in a situation where they hold debt. With debt in their shadows, it is easy to understand why they may feel guilty to burden the other with their problems. Or you may have …

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Zero cost changes can help your financial journey become better

Living a healthy financial life does not always mean spending as little money that it brings the joy out of life but bringing enjoyment in ways to spend or save money. Of course, investing in good furniture rather than the cheap table that the paint chips is a much better choice. But there are also plenty of other ways to upgrade your life by changing things out for no extra costs.

Using your existing memberships to access free and complementary goods.

Did you look closely at the membership you paid for? Chances you did not. Many of our memberships give us access to free shows or movies like Amazon Prime or free access to airport lounges. There is a lot of value we are paying into our memberships already. Like magazines or books, they can be expensive to subscribe to each month or purchase individually. At the library, they already hold many of these subscriptions and publications which we can check out for no costs. For instance, some libraries provided a handful of museum memberships the public can check out …

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Two Budget cuts that hurt you in the long runs

Oftentimes, we try to better our financial budgets by cutting things or cutting back on how much we spend to make healthier financial decisions. If you are in a situation where the money is tight, is common to cut back on things you do not need. Being honest with yourself if you are spending way too much on items is a great step to be stepping towards improving yourself. But not all budget cuts are created equally, some of these budget cuts will be costing you more in the long run. It could be not looking into the cost peruse or not paying something in the short term which could accumulate to a large expense in the long term. These are some examples of things that are likely to cost you more than saving money. Here are some examples that can hurt you more than save you.

Regular Car Maintenance

Lots of the population avoid paying a little bit each month for car maintenance like it is the plague, many of them always end up with disastrous car problems which …

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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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How to be an ethical investor

First, it is so hard now even before the pandemic to avoid the issues of human rights violation, climate change, corporate abuse, and much more. Sometimes even donating to organizations it is hard to feel those impacts. It causes us to feel crushed by all the problems happening around us and ignore them altogether. But have you taken a deeper look into your investment portfolio? You might ask yourself, is my money-making things better or worse? How can I only donate, but help myself and others in a sustainable way?

Of course, our intentions for investing are obviously to grow our money’s worth for the long or the short term, but on the flip side, the cost of the profits for the company might be quite damaging to not only us but to others. Although you are using your money for good intentions does the thing you are investing in believe in the same morals and principles as you are? Do you continue to take part in this system pretending nothing is happening or is there a better way to …

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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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