Payment breaks due to Covid-19 set to be extended for a further three months

Payment breaks due to Covid-19 set to be extended for a further three months

Banks and other lenders have confirmed that a further three-month extension to the current payment break will be made available to customers that continue to be directly impacted by the fallout from Covid-19.

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland said its members, which include AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC Bank Ireland, would all facilitate the extension to loan repayments.

It said that in light of the prolonged and deepening crisis, the extension will allow impacted personal and business customers a payment break of up to six months in total.

BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said the confirmation of the extension is an important signal to those most affected by the fallout from Covid-19, be they mortgage holders, those with personal loans or SMEs.

Over 65,000 mortgage payment breaks and over 22,000 SME payment breaks have been granted since the industry-wide payment breaks were announced on March 18th.

Mr Hayes said that the existing public health measures put in place by Government, aimed at mitigating the impact of Covid-19, have been extended since the original BPFI announcement of payment breaks up to three months.

“These measures may need to remain in operation for some time or may only be lifted gradually with an unknown impact on the economy going forward,” he said.

“BPFI members strongly appreciate the severity of the impact on families, individuals and businesses and it is for this reason, that we believe an extension of the existing payment break beyond three months may be required by many customers,” he added.

He said that banks and lenders will contact customers who have availed of payment breaks over the coming weeks and months about the possibility of extending this break.

Mr Hayes said that customers do not need to contact their lender.

“All providers involved will be in communication with payment break customers in advance of the expiry of their three-month break, providing detail on the options available to them in the months ahead,” he added.

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