Covid-19: Bank of Ireland CEO affirms supports for businesses

Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh affirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting customers through the Cornavirus/Covid-19 pandemic.

McDonagh said Bank of Ireland has a range of supports in place for personal customers and businesses, and is working to meet demand for these as quickly as possible.

“This is a national emergency, and our response to it will be as strong as possible – for our customers, colleagues, the economy, and society as a whole,” said McDonagh.

“For almost 240 years we have been a business that exists to serve our customers. That focus remains unchanged”

“We know that the services we provide are critical. We have a range of options in place for customers, and we will do more to find solutions during this very challenging time.

“For almost 240 years we have been a business that exists to serve our customers. That focus remains unchanged.”

For businesses

For business customers the bank is providing emergency working capital, payment flexibility on loan facilities, the provision of trade finance and foreign currency products, and the prioritisation of loan decisions.

The bank has established new processes for dealing with requests from business customers impacted by Covid-19 in order to respond to their needs as quickly as possible.

It is prioritising Covid-19 related inquiries over other business as usual activities. This includes streamlining requests for payment breaks so that these can as far as is possible be delivered before the next payment falls due.

For personal customers

The bank is enabling payment breaks and flexible arrangements for mortgages and personal loans.

As reported earlier this week, ThinkBusiness reported that the bank had waived contactless fees for the duration of the public health emergency.

The bank has also committed to buying back foreign currency at the rate it was sold, for customers impacted by travel disruption to ensure they do not suffer financial loss.

Branches and social welfare

The bank said that it is keeping its branches operating as normal. Only a small number of branches on college campuses and hospitals are closed. “We are assessing government and heath authority advice on an ongoing basis,” it said in a statement

“We are working with the Government and partner banks through the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), as a matter of urgency, to support a State-sponsored unemployment refund scheme.

“This is designed to get social welfare payments distributed to people who have lost their jobs as quickly as possible using the banking system,” Bank of Ireland stated.