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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020

So-called vulture funds and non-bank lenders to allow three-month mortgage break over Covid-19 outbreak

The Central Bank said this evening that there was no impediment to providing the three-month payment breaks.

A meeting with the BPFI and Central Bank took place today.
A meeting with the BPFI and Central Bank took place today.
Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

CREDIT-SERVICING FIRMS and non-bank mortgage lenders have agreed to allow a break on mortgage repayments for up to three months and to defer court proceedings for three months in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The announcement covering the so-called vulture funds was made this evening following a meeting of the Central Bank and the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) today.

It comes after the five main banks - AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank – said yesterday they’d allow a three-month mortgage freeze to those affected by Covid-19

The Central Bank said this evening that there was no impediment to banks providing the three-month payment breaks. 

It also said that the consumer protection framework must be emphasised where people who may be experiencing particular problems as a result of the coronavirus crisis are provided with “whatever reasonable arrangements and/or assistance may be necessary in dealing” with banks, vulture funds or other entities.

Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf said: “We are working constructively with all the sectors we regulate, recognising the challenges they face to maintain continuity of business and provision of service to customers.

We will also maintain appropriate regulatory oversight throughout this period. The resilience of banks has been built up over the last decade. We want to ensure they remain resilient through this challenging environment in order to safeguard the financial system in the public interest.

In a statement, the BPFI said that the firms will need adequate time to address a range of “operational issues” in order to be able to provide “meaningful supports” to customers.

The firms covered by the announcement today are Dilosk/ICS Mortgages, Finance Ireland, Investec Private Finance Ireland Limited, Lapithus, Link Group, Mars Capital, Pepper, and Start.

BPFI CEO Brian Hayes said: ““I am delighted that our main credit servicing firms and non-bank providers will be supporting their customers just as our retail banks are supporting theirs. 

“Together, they can provide extremely important support to borrowers when it is most needed.

“We are already in discussion with the Central Bank of Ireland on a range of matters arising from the retail bank joint plan; we will now be including additional issues that are particular to the credit servicing firms and non-bank mortgage lenders.”

About the author:

Sean Murray

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