The Rewind

Ireland's Banks Introduce New Measures To Help Those Affected by Covid-19

Ireland's Banks Introduce New Measures To Help Those Affected by Covid-19

Ireland's five major banks have agreed to implement a payment break of up to three months for businesses and personal customers affected by Covid-19.

These measures will be subject to an ongoing review.

The heads of the State’s five banks met with the Minister for Finance on Wednesday afternoon where they agreed to defer legal proceedings and repossessions against borrowers in default.

The banks also agreed to extend payment holidays to homeowners and businesses hit by the economic crisis sparked by Covid-19.

Aside from this, the contactless payment threshold will be increased to €50 and the stamp duty payment on credit cards will be postponed from April until July. They're also working on creating a simplified applications process for businesses and personal customers.

Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) released a statement which said they're "fully committed to working together and collaboratively to ensure provision of branch and payment services during this challenging period."

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In terms of the main details, a payment break up to three months for business and personal customers affected by Covid-19 will be implemented. Customers wishing to avail of a payment break should contact their respective bank.

The banks also agreed to create a simplified application process to make it easier for businesses and personal customers impacted by Covid-19 to receive support from their banks.

The statement adds that: "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.

Elsewhere, banks will also defer court proceedings for three months and the banking system is standing by to provide working capital support.

Speaking about these new measures, BPFI CEO Brian Hayes has said: “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”.

Paul Moore

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