HomeBussinessSpanish bank Bankinter to enter the Irish banking market | BreakingNews.ie

Spanish bank Bankinter to enter the Irish banking market | BreakingNews.ie


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Spanish group Bankinter will soon be a new entrant to the Irish banking market.

The group will offer services, including deposits, under its Spanish licence until it secures an Irish permit.

Bankinter already offers mortgages in Ireland under the brand Avant Money.

The bank will be digital rather than branch-based, and will use the Avant name.

In a statement released on Friday morning, Bankinter said: “The establishment of the branch in Ireland will allow the bank to also operate in the deposit market and then expand it to other financial products and services.

“The entity carries out the necessary administrative procedures for the constitution of Bankinter Ireland, which involves the acquisition from the bank’s consumer subsidiary, BKCF, of all the shares it owns that make up the share capital of Avant Money.”

The Bankinter Group began operating in Ireland in May 2019 through Avant Money, a company dedicated to the consumer lending business and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland as a payment institution, retail credit institution and insurance distributor.

In September 2020, Bankinter incorporated the mortgage business into this strategy, which in a few years has had a very positive evolution.

At the end of the first quarter of 2024, the business’ mortgage portfolio in Ireland amounted to €2.4 billion, 53 per cent more than a year ago.

Responding to the news, Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at Brokers Ireland said: ”The lack of competition in the Irish banking market is widely acknowledged, with the three pillar banks holding 90 per cent of new mortgage lending.

“And if Bankinter is about to start with the deposit side of banking, then they are going right to where most fat lies, with Irish people having over €150 billion on deposit, mostly in low yielding accounts, among the weakest rates in Europe.”

She said Avant Money, Bankinter’s brand in the Irish market already has competitively priced mortgage interest rates and has retained its longer-term fixed interest rates while competitors have pulled back on the better of these in recent times.

“All in all a new competitive force in the market augurs well, both in terms of interest rates and in terms of product offerings,” she said.

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