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An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar met with the Chief Executives of the five Irish major retail banks today.

He met with the CEOs of AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Permanent TSB and KBC, along with the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe, and the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys.

The Taoiseach emphasised the important role of the banking sector in supporting the gradual re-opening of the Irish economy by ensuring a flow of credit to businesses as they begin to trade again, in line with the government’s Roadmap for Re-opening Society and Business.

The Taoiseach and Ministers welcomed the ongoing work of the banks in helping business customers and mortgage customers impacted by COVID-19. This includes the initial three month payment-breaks, allowing households and businesses to defer some of their most significant outgoings. They also welcomed the intention of the banks to extend these payment breaks to six months for households and businesses which require it.

Business and mortgage customers will have the option of having the term of their loan extended so they do not face a rise in monthly repayments when they resume paying. Crucially, it will not affect customers’ credit rating, nor increase the burden on non-performing loans on the banks.

Acknowledging that the retail bank network had stayed open throughout the crisis, providing essential services, the Taoiseach and Ministers commended the work of frontline and back office staff in the banks for the role they have played in ensuring a service to their customers.

In conclusion, the Government and the banks jointly recognised the challenge facing many businesses as the economy reopens. The Government welcomes the commitment by the banks to continue to play their part by working positively with their customers, in as supportive a manner as possible, to ensure that the recovery can take place as quickly as possible.

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