Mortgage payment breaks for people financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic have been extended.
The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), which represents Ireland’s banks, said its members are extending the break from three months to six months.
This applies to the five main retail banks, as well as non-bank lenders, specialist lenders, and credit servicing firms.
More than 65,000 mortgage payment breaks, and some 22,000 SME payment breaks, have been granted over the past six weeks since the industry-wide move was announced on March 18.
BPFI members confirm Payment Break extension from three months to six months for those directly impacted by #COVID19, as figures show over 65,000 mortgage payment breaks and over 22,000 SME payment breaks granted over past six weeks. https://t.co/PwWTjttYLh pic.twitter.com/xeaNryMNwz— Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (@BPFINews) April 30, 2020
BPFI said the extension is being granted “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. The same extension arrangement will also be available to Covid-19 impacted customers who may yet apply for a payment break.”
Announcing the measures on Thursday, BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes said: “Today’s confirmation of an extension of the payment break for those customers directly impacted by Covid-19 is an important signal to those most affected, be they mortgage-holders, those with personal loans or SMEs.
“BPFI has had excellent engagement with the Central Bank of Ireland on behalf it its members and we appreciate the pragmatic approach being taken across the board to the challenges facing those impacted by Covid-19.”
All relevant banks and firms will be contacting customers who have availed of payment breaks over the coming weeks and months about the possibility of extending this break.
Customers do not need to contact their lender.
Detailed guidance and answers to frequently asked questions are also available as part of a communications campaign by the banks and the BPFI which is due to be launched in the coming days.