Quarterly Bulletin Articles 

   Publications - [Displaying results 1 - 2 of 2]
DateTitle and Description
The Financial Position of Irish Households30/01/2015The Financial Position of Irish Households
This paper introduces a novel dataset on households’ income, assets and debts in Ireland: the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS). The HFCS is an invaluable resource for policy makers, allowing for household-level analysis of the composition of wealth and debt, leverage and the debt-service burden. Highlights include: the household main residence accounts for the majority of most households’ gross wealth (48 per cent on average); financial assets account for a much smaller proportion of gross wealth on average (13 per cent); more than half of households hold some form of debt, with mortgage indebtedness proving to be a particularly heavy burden for younger cohorts; however, the mortgage repayment burden is more evenly spread across the age distribution, with younger borrowers benefiting from low interest rates and long mortgage terms; the median value of net wealth is €105,000, in line with other Euro area countries (€109,000); the top 20 per cent of households hold 70 per cent of net assets – again, similar to the Euro area as whole; in Ireland, the concentration of wealth at the top end of the distribution is driven by two factors: larger holdings of real assets and relatively smaller holdings of debt.
The Instruments of Macro-Prudential Policy30/01/2015The Instruments of Macro-Prudential Policy
The recent global crisis revealed a role for macro-prudential policy or measures to mitigate systemic risk. In Ireland, the high costs of the recent banking crisis showed that forward-looking risk assessments and pre-emptive policy action are important to ensure that the future probability of such a crisis reoccurring is reduced. Macro-prudential policies primarily aim to complement regulatory oversight of individual firms and build resilience, initially in the banking sector. A secondary (albeit more ambitious) goal is to dampen the volatility of the financial cycle and reduce the potential for destabilising imbalances within the financial system to accumulate. This paper focuses on the banking sector and the various measures available to macro-prudential authorities to mitigate this risk.