Irish banks are offering a three-month moratorium to those affected by Covid-19 in order to alleviate financial pressure.
The five core banks in Ireland- AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank, as well as the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) met today to discuss what financial measures could be introduced to the people of Ireland.
So far, over 150,000 people are out of work due to Covid-19, and 16,000 have applied for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €203.00 a week.
In a bid to help those who have lost their jobs and are under financial strain the five banks are implementing the following measures:
- Implement a payment break up to three months for business and personal customers affected by Covid-19, to be followed by ongoing reviews depending on the scale and extent of the situation. Customers wishing to avail of a payment break should contact their respective bank.
- The banks agree there is a need for a simplified application process to make it as easy as possible for businesses and personal customers impacted by Covid-19 to receive support from their banks. We are working with all member banks to achieve this.
- The banks want to ensure that any Covid-19 application for a payment break and further reviews will not adversely impact the customer’s credit record, and the banks reporting of these facilities. Banks want to avoid this and are meeting with the Central Bank of Ireland to urgently achieve a solution in this regard.
- Banks will also defer court proceedings for three months.
- The banking system stands ready to provide working capital support.
- The banking system have had initial discussions with Credit Servicing Firms and with those non-bank lenders who provide mortgages. Both the Credit Servicing Firms and non-bank lenders have issues which we need to address with the Central Bank of Ireland, but both are committed to working with the Government and industry to provide the flexibility that people need right now.
BPFI CEO Brian Hayes said that "these are exceptional circumstances in which people now find themselves and we believe they require exceptional measures. The banks are moving urgently to introduce measures that will best support businesses and personal customers impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. They will also require the full support of key stakeholders in order to make it happen”.
The banks are also working collaboratively to ensure that continuity of service plans are in place, that critical functions can continue, and that staff remain available to continue to service customers at this time