BANKS are to allow their mortgage customers to defer monthly repayments if the coronavirus causes massive economic disruption.
They are following the lead of a top British bank and lenders in Italy who are to allow mortgage holders to defer their payments due to the expected impact of the conoravirus.
If a mortgage holder or renter is forced to self-isolate, gets sick and cannot work, or his or her employer is unable to operate, their incomes are going to be affected, experts said.
Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns Ulster Bank here, and the Italian banks say they will allow deferment of mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers impacted by coronavirus.
RBS said it will also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts and provide refunds on credit card cash advance fees to help affected customers.
The bank has followed the lead of the Italian government, who said it will suspend mortgage repayments and other household bills across the nation as the whole country is put on lockdown.
Bank of Ireland said it will offer payment breaks and flexible arrangements on mortgages and loans for up to three months if people can’t pay due to the virus.
AIB is also not putting any special measures in place. But it said: “We have existing mortgage features in place for customers seeking to avail of an interest only/moratoria period in certain circumstances along with well-developed solutions for customers in difficulty with their mortgage repayments.”
Ulster Bank said it would allow mortgage and loan repayments to be deferred for up to three months.
The bank will also allow cutomers access to fixed term savings accounts early without breakage fee, the option to apply for an increase in overdraft and credit card limits, and there will be an increased cash withdrawal limit.
Each situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, Ulster Bank, which is headed up by Jane Howard, added.
Cash advance fees will be waived for impacted customers that use credit cards to access cash in an emergency.
Permanent TSB is not offering across-the-board mortgage or loan relief for people impacted by the virus. But it said it will support any customers that are in financial difficulty.