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Irish banks ready to work with Covid-impacted customers

Written by Robert McHugh, on 21st Oct 2020. Posted in Financial

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The Banking and Payments and Federation of Ireland (BPFI) yesterday said its members will continue to support their customers through the next stage of the pandemic and recognises the challenges that moving to Level 5 will pose for many people. 

The BPFI noted some 2,500 staff are employed by the five main retail banks in financial support units to work with customers facing challenges and putting in place individual solutions for them. 

The Irish Times reports that the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank has suggested that struggling customers will be best served with individual tailored solutions rather than the banks offering blanket payments again. 

Goodbody Stockbrokers say the allocation of c.10% of staff at the banks to manage customers in financial difficulties highlights the scale of challenges facing banks and their customers in the months ahead.

To date, the BPFI has noted that c.90% of customers rolling off Payment Break 1 have reverted to prior loan conditions. Goodbody had anticipated that customers taking out the extension, Payment Break 2, would see a greater need for subsequent forbearance, assuming only 60% would revert to prior loan conditions, though Goodbody say early evidence of recent trends has been much better than that.

According to Goodbody, "The move to Level 5, is now likely to pressure more customers (personal & business), and as we noted yesterday, any sense that the banks might have been able to accentuate the positives next week at Q3 IMS stage will now dissipate as they closely monitor tighter economic conditions for the next 6 weeks which will now likely unwind the more positive trends through Q3."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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