Mortgage payment breaks for people financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended.
The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) says it members are extending the break from three months to six months.
This applies to the five main retail banks - together with non-bank lenders, specialist lenders and credit servicing firms.
More than 65,000 mortgage payment breaks, and over 22,000 SME payment breaks, have been granted over the past six weeks
The BPFI says: "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."
The relevant BPFI members are:
- Bank of Ireland
- Permanent tsb
- Ulster Bank
- Finance Ireland
- Investec Private Finance Ireland Ltd
- Dilosk/ICS Mortgages
- Link Group
- Mars Capital
BPFI chief executive Brian Hayes says: "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 and its members fully appreciate that people are going into a very uncertain period in the weeks and months ahead and our objective is to allay their worries by offering as much relief and certainty as possible in these unprecedented times."
All relevant 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 FAQs are also available by the banks and the BPFI as part of a communications campaign.