45,000 mortgage breaks granted by Irish banks

More than 45,000 mortgage payment breaks have been or are about to be given to borrowers suffering financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) this represents approximately 5% of the total mortgage market here.

The initiative is being operated by all five of the main retail banks and was introduced a number of weeks ago.

There has also been strong demand for payment breaks for small firms.

“Close to 14,000 SME payment breaks were granted or in the process of being granted over the past three weeks, while banks were also well advanced in processing requests for working capital facilities, which total 3,200 to date,” said Brian Hayes, chief executive of the Banking and Payments Federation.

“Banks are experiencing a far greater demand by SMEs for payment breaks, which account for 65% of the overall demand in supports, while working capital facilities account for just 35% of the requests received from SMEs.”

Mr Hayes said the figures indicate the scale of the financial impact of Covid-19 on both individuals and businesses.

“Substantial changes across a whole range of the banks’ operational systems have been necessary in order to process the thousands of payment break applications which have been received, and which banks will continue to receive as customers seek support as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

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