Monday 16 September 2019

Irish banks move to reassure consumers over savings and mortgages in the event of hard Brexit

Euro banknotes. Stock image
Euro banknotes. Stock image
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Banks have assured consumers that a crash-out Brexit will have no impact on their mortgage and stressed that any savings in an Irish bank will continue to be protected by the State’s Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Consumers are worried that Brexit will have a negative impact on their day-to-day banking.

But the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) said that if the UK crashes out of the European Union banking services - such as existing debits/standing orders, ATM services, domestic debit and credit payment - will continue as normal.

In the event of a hard Brexit there should be no change in the length of time it takes to make payments from here to the UK.

BPFI - which represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland - has warned that if people are buying from UK suppliers they may be faced with higher taxes or tariffs.

At the moment people here who shop with a UK-based website pay British valued-added tax (Vat) and other taxes.

If the UK leaves the EU, hefty import duties and additional Vat will apply.

The banking body insists that existing loans and mortgages with a lender here in Ireland will not be impacted.

For those with a mortgage from a British-regulated, the BPFI said: “If your loan or mortgage is with a bank authorised in the UK, your UK bank should have contacted you.  If you have any concerns, you should contact your UK bank.”

READ MORE: Tough Brexit talk fuels sharp drop in sterling

Savings with banks here in Ireland will continue to be protected by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme, which is administered by the Central Bank of Ireland and funded by credit institutions.

If your savings are with a bank authorised in the UK, your UK bank should have contacted you. If you have any concerns, you should contact your UK bank, the banking body said.

Consumers will still be able to make payments to, and receive payments from, the UK in the event of a hard Brexit.

The UK will remain participants in the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) and so euro payments will continue. As long as the UK continues to meet the eligibility criteria of the SEPA scheme, such payments will continue to be processed as they are today.

And consumers will still be able to buy and sell sterling notes and drafts as is the case with most other foreign currencies, while Irish credit cards will continue to work in the UK.

The BPFI has a frequently-asked questions section for consumers on its website.

The chief executive of the BPFI, Brian Hayes, said this was to allay fears around most common banking products and services if British suddenly leaves the EU.

READ MORE: David Chance: 'Brexit is coming fast - but we still have little clue what its impact on us will be'

Online Editors

Also in Business