Banking Supports during coronavirus

AIB bank branch

Last reviewed: 6 July

At the Irish Cancer Society, we understand the financial hardship faced by cancer patients, survivors and their families. Our recent report "The Real Cost of Cancer" highlighted the devastating financial impact that goes hand in hand with a cancer diagnosis and can often remain long after treatment is finished.

Cancer patients can face a large drop in income and increase in expenditure after diagnosis, and along with the physical and psychological worry Covid-19 presents for patients, financial challenges may be exacerbated by the current health crisis.

Cancer patients and survivors are vulnerable to loss of income during the COVID-19 crisis, as they rightly focus on prioritising their health during this time.

Below is an overview of banking relief available during the COVID-19 emergency. This information is not exhaustive and further advice and information for cancer patients is available from the Money Advisory and Budgeting Service (MABS).

MABS – www.mabs.ie - Tel: 076 107 2000

There is now support available from banks, non-bank mortgage lenders and credit servicing firms in Ireland to support cancer patients and others who are affected by loss of income during the COVID-19 emergency. Assistance may include payment breaks on mortgages, business and personal loans, as well as the availability of credit for small businesses.

Ireland’s 5 retail banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland, KBC, Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank – have also opened dedicated phonelines for vulnerable and elderly customers. You will find this under the name of your bank below.

Cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties during COVID-19 should contact the Money Advisory and Budgeting Services (MABS – Call: 076 107 2000) for advice, before calling their bank. Not all customers will need a payment break and it is important that customers who can afford to continue making repayments should do so, otherwise debt will build up unnecessarily. MABS can assist customers to assess their ability to pay and advise them on the best course of action.

**If you apply for a payment break, your bank will inform you that your future repayments will be adjusted so that the mortgage/loan will be repaid within its original term. This means that your break payments will be spread over your remaining mortgage/loan term and your new repayments will be higher than they were before the payment break**

How can I conduct my banking if I am cocooning?

Banks are strongly encouraging customers NOT to come to their branch, but to consider ways to manage their banking and payment needs from home.

  • Online or mobile banking: This is a great option for customers who wish to access their accounts and check transactions
  • Use your bankcard to pay for goods or to pay bills over the phone. The company or shop will ask for your card number, expiry date and CVV (3 digits at the back of the card). They will NEVER ask for the PIN for the bankcard.
  • You should only make the payment when you are certain it is the merchant and that you are familiar with them. You should call the company or shop, not the other way around.
  • If a trusted person does shopping for you, ask for receipts. This builds trust and protects any suspicion arising between you and the person being helpful.
  • In the limited circumstances where you need to ask a trusted person to go to the bank branch on your behalf, the person helping should provide a proof of transaction. This builds trust and allows you to keep track of your money.
  • You should not give their PIN to another person.

Bank customers are advised to be vigilant at all times when conducting their banking business.

To guard against online fraud, be security conscious with log-in details and PIN numbers for credit and debit cards.

Remember that banks and retailers will NEVER ask you to share your online/phone banking passcodes or PINs. *

*Information from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI). More information available at https://www.bpfi.ie/key-topics/vulnerable-customers-covid-19-support-faqs/

What is a Payment Break?

This information is not exhaustive and further advice and information for cancer patients is available from the Money Advisory and Budgeting Service (MABS).

MABS – www.mabs.ie - Tel: 076 107 2000

Mortgages, personal loans and business loans may be frozen for up to three months, followed by ongoing reviews depending on the scale and extent of the situation.

Payment breaks can take a number of forms depending on what best suits your specific situation.

  1. “Moratorium” Payment Break – generally this means that your full loan repayment is postponed for an agreed period of time so you do not have to pay any capital or interest. Usually, at the end of this agreed period, loans return to full capital and interest payments. At the end of the agreed period, your loan repayments will increase so that the loan is fully repaid within the original term of the loan.
  2. “Interest Only” Payment – you only pay the interest due on the loan during the agreed payment break. You do not pay any capital, which means that your repayments will be less but also that your loan balance will not reduce during this period. Usually, at the end of this agreed period, loans return to full capital and interest payments. At the end of the agreed period, your loan repayments will increase so that the loan is fully repaid within the original term of the loan.

Cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties during COVID-19 should contact the Money Advisory and Budgeting Services (MABS – Call: 076 107 2000) for advice, before calling their bank. Not all customers will need a payment break and it is important that customers who can afford to continue making repayments should do so, otherwise debt will build up unnecessarily. MABS can assist customers to assess their ability to pay and advise them on the best course of action.

**If you apply for a payment break, your bank will inform you that your future repayments will be adjusted so that the mortgage/loan will be repaid within its original term. This means that your break payments will be spread over your remaining mortgage/loan term and your new repayments will be higher than they were before the payment break**

How do I apply for a payment break?

Below is an overview of banking relief available during the COVID-19 emergency. This information is not exhaustive and further advice and information for cancer patients is available from the Money Advisory and Budgeting Service (MABS).

MABS – www.mabs.ie - Tel: 076 107 2000

Contact your lender to request a payment break. Each lender has put in place an application process, however the process will vary from lender to lender. Many lenders have put a deadline of 30 September for applications. Please note that all banks and lenders are dealing with a large increase in queries, so you may need to keep trying to make contact. See below contact details for banks and lending institutions operating in Ireland.

Cancer patients who are facing financial difficulties during COVID-19 should contact the Money Advisory and Budgeting Services (MABS – Call: 076 107 2000) for advice, before calling their bank. Not all customers will need a payment break and it is important that customers who can afford to continue making repayments should do so, otherwise debt will build up unnecessarily. MABS can assist customers to assess their ability to pay and advise them on the best course of action.

What other resources are available if I am facing financial difficulty?

The Money Advisory and Budgeting Services (MABS) offers a range of free financial advisory services you can access if you are facing financial difficulty due to illness or unemployment during the COVID-19 crisis. These include support and advice on mortgage arrears, budgeting, debt management and personal insolvency.

Money Advisory and Budgeting Service (MABS) – Tel: 076 107 2000 www.mabs.ie

Further information and advice on income supports from the State is available here

Allied Irish Bank (AIB)

Dedicated Phoneline for vulnerable and elderly customers – 061 436 943

Web: www.aib.ie/covid19

Mortgages – apply online at www.aib.ie/covid19

Mortgage Line Tel: 01 772 6609

Personal Loans – customers can apply for payment breaks of 3 or 6 months or up to 12 months of interest-only payments.

Online application at www.aib.ie/covid19

Personal Loans Tel: 1890 724 724

AIB is offering priority banking time for older and vulnerable customers from 10am until 11am each morning.

Bank of Ireland

Dedicated phoneline for vulnerable and elderly customers – 1800 946 146

Mortgages – apply online at https://www.bankofireland.com/coronavirus-update/

Mortgage Line Tel: 01 611 3333

Personal Loan Tel: 1850 222 200/01 488 2019

HP/Lease Agreements: 1850 812 080

Cocooning – If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19, you can authorize a family member or friend to temporarily access your account. Application for it is available here

Bank of Ireland is offering priority banking for customers over 65 and carers from 10am to 11am each morning.

Dilosk/ICS Mortgages

Call 1890 542 542 or email customerservice@icsmortgages.ie

Online application for owner occupier and buy to let customers at http://www.icsmortgages.ie/ics-mortgages-covid-19-information

EBS (AIB)

Call 1850 330 044 or apply online at www.ebs.ie/covid19

Haven Mortgages (AIB)

Call 1850 654 329 or 01 665 8082 or apply online at www.havenmortgages.ie/covid19

KBC Bank

Dedicated phoneline for vulnerable and elderly customers – 1800 804 472

For loan and mortgage payment breaks contact 1850 93 02 35 or email covid19enquiries@kbc.ie

More information at https://www.kbc.ie/covid-19

Link Asset Services

Mars Capital

Tel: 1890 303 702 Email: info@marscapital.ie

More information at Mars Capital

Pepper

For a list of relevant contact numbers, please visit:

https://www.peppergroup.ie/about-us/contact-us

Permanent TSB

Dedicated phoneline for vulnerable and elderly customers – 1800 218 000

Web: Permanent Tsb

Mortgage Tel: 1890 500 121

Permanent TSB is offering priority banking for older and vulnerable customers from 10:30am to 12pm every day.

Start

Ulster Bank

Dedicated phoneline for vulnerable and elderly customers – 1800 656 001

Website

Mortgage Tel: 1800 435 763

Request increased credit card limit: 1890 924 257

Request increased overdraft limit: 1890 587 587

Request increased debit card cash withdrawal limit: 1850 424 365

Refunds on request for credit card cash advance fees: 1890 924 257

Loan/Overdraft Enquiries: 1850 201 210

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you or someone in your life is undergoing cancer treatment and are concerned about the coronavirus, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday: 9.00am - 5.00pm

For more information

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Phone

1800 200 700

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