Irish banks agree to mortgage and loan freeze for customers affected by coronavirus measures; contactless payment limit to increase  

Irish banks agree to mortgage and loan freeze for customers affected by coronavirus measures; contactless payment limit to increase  

Following a meeting with the Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, the banks are working on a simplified application process to make it easier for customers to receive support.

The five main banks have agreed a three-month suspension of mortgage and business loan repayments for customers affected by Covid-19.

Following a meeting with the Finance Minister, Paschal Donohoe, the banks are working on a simplified application process to make it easier for customers to receive support.

Banks have also agreed that any Covid-19 applications for a payment break will not adversely impact on credit records and court proceedings will be deferred for three months.

Landlords with tenants who are out of work due to Covid-19 will be able to avail of the payment break of up to three months, while banks will ensure a wide range of credit, cash flow and supply chain supports are offered to businesses.

Customers are urged to contact their bank as soon as possible to make the alternative arrangements.

The Finance Minister will have a meeting with the Central Bank tomorrow.

Minister Donohoe said: "The proposed actions by the banks will build on the Government response, and the ECB’s monetary and regulatory policy measures to deliver real support to individuals, SMEs and companies in these difficult times.

"These actions are the translation of European and national policies into individual supports that best assist the needs of our bank customers in the period ahead.”

The Minister has also asked the banking industry to increase the limit on contactless payments from €30 to €50.

The Minister is also deferring the collection of stamp duty on credit cards to July. This is normally levied in April.

In a statement, the Banking Payments Federation Ireland said the measures include “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.” 

BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes 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”.

The Finance Minister will have a meeting with the Central Bank tomorrow.

Minister Donohoe said: "The proposed actions by the banks will build on the Government response, and the ECB’s monetary and regulatory policy measures to deliver real support to individuals, SMEs and companies in these difficult times.

"These actions are the translation of European and national policies into individual supports that best assist the needs of our bank customers in the period ahead.”

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