Behind the Data

Behind the Data

Behind the Data shines a light on interesting financial and economic trends by taking a closer look at data collected by the Central Bank.


Understanding Long-term Mortgage Arrears in Ireland

David Duignan, Andrew Hopkins, Ciaran Meehan and Martina Sherman*
September 2020

New data on long-term mortgage arrears reveals a significant number are more than ten years in arrears, with such cases dating back to the last financial crisis.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented shock to Ireland’s economy and society in general. Approximately half a million private sector employees were reliant on government financial support at the end of August, while the economic outlook remains highly uncertain. Additionally, eight per cent of all principal dwelling house (PDH) mortgage accounts in Ireland had some level of arrears when entering the pandemic. While the arrears level has fallen considerably in recent years, it remains elevated, with long-term arrears cases accounting for a large share of those with repayment difficulties.


COVID-19 Payment Breaks – who continues to avail of them?

Allan Kearns, Andrew Campbell, Grace McDonnell, David Duignan, and Darren Greaney*
September 2020

New Central Bank data shows a 27% reduction in the value of active payment breaks to Irish borrowers since the end of June.  Notwithstanding, 90,539 payment breaks remain active representing €14.7 billion or just over 9 per cent of loans to Irish borrowers.

COVID-19 has been an unprecedented shock to Ireland’s economy and has left thousands of households and businesses across the country on reduced incomes. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, financial services firms in Ireland (including retail banks, retail credit firms, credit servicing firms and credit unions) have made payment breaks available to household and business customers. The initial applications for payment breaks, across all major types of loans (including mortgages, personal and business loans), peaked around mid-June. At that time, around €27bn or approximately 13% of all outstanding loan balances across these financial service providers had a payment break.


Investigating Household Deposits During COVID-19

Tiernan Heffernan, Simone Saupe and Maria Woods*
July 2020

Deposit growth soared during the COVID-19 pandemic but economic uncertainty and changes to income levels are likely to determine future savings preferences.

As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, the extent and duration of the downturn is highly uncertain. In the most recent Quarterly Bulletin, the baseline forecast is for underlying domestic demand to decline by 9.5 per cent this year. The future paths of household income, consumption and savings are of particular interest to policy makers, given their role in determining the shape of the economic recovery.


COVID-19 Payment Breaks – who has needed them?

Allan Kearns, Andrew Campbell, David Duignan, Darren Greaney and Grace McDonnell*
July 2020

New Central Bank data finds that almost 160,000 payment breaks representing €20.1 billion in loans have been granted to borrowers in Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented shock to Ireland’s economy and has left thousands of households and businesses across the country on reduced incomes. In response to the pandemic, financial services firms in Ireland have made payment breaks available to household and business customers. The significant scale of applications for payment breaks, across all major types of loans (including mortgages, personal and business loans), speaks to the unprecedented breadth of the shock triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Has demand for new loans changed during the COVID-19 crisis?

Rory McElligott, Martina Sherman and Maria Woods*
May 2020

New daily data suggest the demand for loans fell during March 2020 and the first half of April although overdraft applications, mainly for business purposes increased.

The demand for loans is important for understanding current and future economic developments, including demand for property and company investments. However, demand for certain types of loans, such as overdrafts, may indicate cash-flow pressures.


How has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Daily Spending Patterns?

Andrew Hopkins and Martina Sherman
April 2020

New data reveals consumers spending less on cards and making fewer ATM withdrawals as COVID-19 pandemic continues.

While the outbreak of COVID-19 and associated public health measures has had a dramatic effect on day-to-day life in Ireland, it has also had a marked impact on how we are spending our money. New data published by Central Bank of Ireland has found that spending on credit and debit cards initially increased as the government announced the first set of containment measures on 12 March, before falling in the second half of the month. Meanwhile, the daily value of cash withdrawals from ATMs collapsed by 40 per cent over the same period.


Exchange Traded Funds Held by Households: A Securities Holdings Perspective

Patrick Hughes and Siobhán O’Connell
January 2020

The Central Bank of Ireland publishes a wide range of data on investment funds. However, there is one fast-growing part of the sector for which there is limited information available. Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs are funds traded on stock exchanges the same way as equities. ETFs have experienced exponential growth both in Ireland and the euro area in recent years but information on the sector is lower compared to other fund categories, particularly with respect to household holdings. This “Behind the Data” piece fills that information gap and takes a closer look at the sector’s rapid rise.


The Who’s Who of Irish Collateralised Loan Obligations

Barra McCarthy, Tarek Elbay, Pierce Daly and Simone Cima
November 2019

Recent growth in corporate indebtedness has been identified by the European Central Bank, US Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Central Bank of Ireland as a potential financial stability risk. Specifically, they have highlighted the growing size of the market for leveraged loans. These are subprime loans provided to borrowers who already have significant debt, or have a poor or non-existent credit history. A significant portion of leveraged loans are syndicated, which means that there are multiple lenders providing the loan.


A New High in Irish Household Wealth: What is Different this Time?

Faris Bader and Cormac O'Sullivan
June 2019

The wealth of the Irish household sector has surpassed the pre-crisis peak. This recovery, outlined in recent Quarterly Financial Accounts, primarily reflects developments in house prices, the accumulation of financial assets as well as the considerable deleveraging that followed the financial crisis.