Banks grant 45,000 mortgage payment breaks due to Covid-19 crisis

Some 14,000 payment breaks for SMEs have also been granted or are close to completion

More than 45,000 mortgage payments breaks have been granted by banks or are close to completion, new figures show. This is equivalent to 5 per cent of all mortgages in the Republic.

Data from Banking Payments Federation Ireland shows close to 14,000 payment breaks for SMEs were granted or are in the process of being agreed over the past three weeks. In addition, banks are "well advanced" in processing 3,200 requests for working capital facilities, chief executive Brian Hayes.

He said it has largely been SMEs seeking payment breaks to date. Overall, 65 per cent of requests from SMEs are for payment breaks with 35 per cent seeking working capital facilities.

Mr Hayes said banks were reallocating up to 50 per cent of staff to ensure delivery of payment breaks to businesses affected by the Covid-19 crisis.


“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.

The heads of the State’s five banks agreed in mid-March to provide three-month long payment breaks to homeowners and businesses affected by Covid-19.

AIB chief executive Colin Hunt said in an interview with the Sunday Times Irish edition that it was "inevitable" that customers would need payment breaks beyond the current three-month period. He said the bank had agreed 25,000 breaks for customers to date.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist