The proposed actions by the banks will build on the Government response, and the ECB’s monetary and regulatory policy measures to deliver real support to individuals, SMEs and companies in these difficult times. These actions are the translation of European and national policies into individual supports that best assist the needs of our bank customers in the period ahead.”
The banking sector’s coordinated approach to supporting customers whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 is to be welcomed. The range of supports proposed by the BPFI, and to be discussed with the Central Bank, are customer focused so as to cater for the different impacts of COVID-19 on each individual customer. These proposals include:
The Minister welcomes the Central Bank’s decision to reduce the Countercyclical Capital Buffer, from 1% to 0%. This decision will free up bank capital that can be used to provide credit, and to restructure and extend the loans of bank customers, both individuals and SMEs. The release of this regulatory buffer by the Central Bank in this time of need shows the importance of the Central Bank’s introduction of the buffer two years ago in stronger economic times.
The Minister acknowledges the extensive work that has been ongoing across the BPFI and its members to ensure the continuity of banking services to the public. The proactive approach of the BPFI and its members in working together should minimise possible disruption to payment services.
In order to support public health policy, the Minister is requesting that industry increase the limit on contactless payments to €50. This change covers most transactions given the average value of contactless transactions is €12.23 and the average value of debit card transactions is €41.52.
The Minister has decided to defer the collection of stamp duty on credit cards to July, which is normally levied in April, for which he will legislate for in due course.
The Minister welcomes the fact that initial discussions with Credit Service Firms and with those non– bank lenders who provide mortgages have taken place with the BPFI. Both the Credit Service Firms and non-bank lenders have issues which need to be addressed with the Central Bank of Ireland, but both are committed to working with the Government and industry to provide the flexibility that people need at this time.
Deborah Sweeney - Press Adviser to Minister Donohoe - 086 858 6878
Aidan Murphy - Press Officer, Department of Finance - 085 886 6667