Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) today said that retail banks and non-bank lenders were continuing to commit significant resources to support customers impacted by COVID-19, and in particular those who are affected by the latest restrictions implemented this month.
BPFI CEO Brian Hayes said: “Specialist teams across the support units in the five retail banks and other lenders are working closely with customers on a case-by-case basis to find a supportive solution which meets their individual circumstances. Standard payment breaks continue to be part of the wide range of tailored solutions which are being made available to customers upon assessment of their situation. Customers are also being offered periods of reduced or interest only repayments, and term extensions, where these solutions are appropriate”.
The BPFI CEO said: “We are in the early days of these restrictions, and while lenders are not seeing an influx of requests for support similar to March 2020 the situation is being intensively monitored. While the range of Government supports available is clearly providing significant support, Ireland’s lenders also stand ready to provide ongoing support to customers in difficulty during what is an immensely difficult period. Lenders are continually monitoring daily trends and resources are in place to handle further customer support requests, should we see an increase in the coming weeks”.
The BPFI CEO stressed that where customers were finding themselves in a position where they were unable to meet their repayments for January, lenders could provide short term relief under the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arears, while they worked with the customer to make a detailed assessment of their unique circumstances and make available a solution. “That has been the case for thousands of customers who were given tailored solutions last year”, he added.
“I cannot stress enough the importance for customers to engage with their lender. Thousands of customers impacted since the start of the pandemic have worked with their lender and the tailored solutions which have been agreed and put in place are working for customers impacted by the pandemic”, concluded Mr Hayes.