Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, many businesses have closed and people have become both temporarily and permanently unemployed. In response to this the Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe, has announced new proposals to help support people financially during this time.
Proposed support for bank borrowers
Flexible arrangements, including a payment break for mortgages and other loans
Customers affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) must contact their bank to discuss the flexibility available to them, including the possibility of a payment break of up to 3 months.
Support for buy-to-let bank customers with tenants affected by COVID-19
Buy-to-let customers are people who have bought property to then rent out. Customers with rental property in which the tenants are negatively impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will be given flexibility at this time, including an opportunity to seek a payment break of up to 3 months. This will allow them to “exercise due levels of forbearance to their tenants”. That means that if they receive a break from their mortgage they should then give their tenants a break from paying rent also.
Supports for small to medium enterprises (SME)
Banks are working to ensure a wide range of credit, cash flow and supply chain supports are offered to businesses who are trying to manage the pressures arising from COVID-19 (Coronavirus). A deferral of up to 3-months on loan repayments will be of assistance to many businesses.
If in doubt, contact your bank
Customers facing difficulties due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) are urged to contact their bank as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements that will assist them to come through this difficult period. Banks will work to ensure that these supports are made available to borrowers in a straightforward manner and aligned to the processes rolled out by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Other proposed banking changes due to COVID-19
Increased limit on contactless payment to €50
In order to promote the use of contactless payment at this time, to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Minister is requesting that the limit on contactless payments is increased from €30 to €50.
Deferral to stamp duty
The Minister has decided to defer the collection of stamp duty on credit cards to July. Stamp Duty is a tax you pay when using your credit card. This will be legislated for soon.
If you have lost your job, been put on temporary leave or have had your hours cut due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) financial supports are available from the Government. Read our article on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.