Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick says banks are making it unnecessarily difficult for businesses who are trying to defer loan payments during the COVID19 crisis. They’re facing pages of paperwork and long lists of questions when applying for a three-month deferral.

Deputy Collins said, “Businesses across Limerick, and right across the country, are trying to get to grips with their new reality. Many have seen their cashflow seriously diminished and are finding it difficult to stay on top of their overheads.

“Last week we saw the main banks on a PR drive telling customers that they would facilitate loan deferrals for a number of months. The reality being faced by businesses is somewhat different however.

“I fully accept that banks have to carry out the necessary checks before adapting loan terms and agreements, however these are exceptional times, and companies which were profitable last month are now struggling to meet wage and operating costs. These are companies, which will hopefully make it through this crisis, but they need assistance and understanding from the banks to do so.

“My party had previously called for the main banks to freeze all commercial and business loans. Not only is this not happening, but the main banks are subjecting businesses to a lengthy engagement process to decide whether they will defer the loan. Other lenders are not doing this.

“Irish banks need to step up to the plate and ensure that businesses can be protected during the COVID19 pandemic so that they can continue trading once this crisis abates”.