It has been confirmed that the mortgage payment break scheme due to end this week will not be extended, following a meeting of bank CEOs and the Government.
As of the scheme’s end on Wednesday, banks will continue to offer payment breaks on a case-by-case basis only.
The virtual meeting earlier today discussed payment breaks and lending in the economy, and involved the Tánaiste and the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure, along with the CEOs of AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, KBC, PTSB and the Banking Payments Federation (BPFI).
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said banks must continue to offer payment breaks to customers and businesses that require them, and that there is no “cliff edge” coming later this week.
“The recession caused by the pandemic is like no other. Nobody is to blame for being unable to pay because their job is gone or business is closed. It’s in everyone’s interest that people and firms are given more time to get back on their feet,” he said.
Mr Varadkar said other options would also be made available to customers struggling to make payments, including reduced payments and interest-only.
“There is no cliff-edge coming on September 30th. This is merely the last day on which people and firms can apply for a Covid-related payment break if they don’t have one already,” he said.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: “I would highlight that the Money Advice and Budgeting Service is available free to anyone who wishes to have an objective and non-judgmental discussion on their options and that mortgage holder who are experiencing difficulty should engage with their lender at the earliest opportunity.”
Meanwhile, the Central Bank has said there is no regulatory impediment to lenders offering further payment breaks to borrowers.
The regulator said different approaches and solutions will be required to support those unable to return to full repayments.