30 Jun 2020 | 10.10 am
Bank Of Ireland Launches Covid Recovery Plan
Additional funding and supports package
30 Jun 2020 | 10.10 am
Bank of Ireland has announced a raft of new measures that it will implement to support economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures focus on housing, local enterprise and communities, and customers impacted by Covid-19.
In a bid to support homebuilding and green investment, BoI will make available an additional €1bn in funding for green mortgages, loans and discounts available over the coming year through the Bank of Ireland Sustainable Finance Fund.
The bank is also increasing the amount earmarked for residential development lending by €400m to a total of €2bn. It currently provides financial support for the development of a range of housing types, including environmentally sustainable builds and social housing.
Bank of Ireland also announced that following the donation of €1m in emergency funding to communities impacted by Covid-19 in March, it will provide an additional €1m to local communities and a range of organisations over the coming months.
The additional funding will be dispersed primarily through the Bank of Ireland Begin Together programme, which has a number of initiatives, including the Begin Together Awards, the Begin Together Fund (managed through the Community Foundation for Ireland) and the Begin Together Fund for Colleagues.
To further support customers affected by the pandemic, BoI has specialist teams and a dedicated Covid-19 hub for those who are concerned about being able to return to full repayments at the end their payment break. The bank is also contacting customers within particularly vulnerable sectors to assess how it can help.
Francesca McDonagh (pictured), chief executive of Bank of Ireland is urging the government to introduce the Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme for Irish SMEs as quickly as possible, adding that the bank is ready to facilitate loans through it as soon as it is launched.
“It is critical that the scheme works in a way that is as simple, straightforward, and user-friendly as possible – for both SME customers to get access to funding, and for banks to implement,” McDonagh said.
“The Irish economy is reopening faster than originally planned, which is a very welcome development. Getting back up and running means many businesses will need to access funding. However, when we look at the overall size of Irish government support for businesses compared to the UK and other European countries, it’s relatively low.
“Drawdowns from existing Irish government schemes – when adjusted to take account of the difference in the size of our economy – is at just 2% of UK volumes. This highlights the very significant difference in approach between the two jurisdictions and puts Irish businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
“For businesses across Ireland, loan payment breaks from the banks and government wage subsidy schemes have cushioned the impact so far. Now, however, we are heading into a critical period and we need the new government to prioritise the new Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support Irish SMEs as a matter of national urgency.”