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Banks shut down mortgages to applicants who are receiving State pandemic supports

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Reuters

(Stock photo)

All lenders have effectively stopped issuing mortgages to customers on the pandemic unemployment payment and the temporary wage subsidy.

AIB, Ulster Bank and Permanent TSB have stopped making loan offers to those on State subsidies, according to leading broker Karl Deeter.

He said some lenders are processing loan offers. These include Bank of Ireland, KBC and Finance Ireland.

But these three will not allow people to draw down a loan while the applicants are on the pandemic payment or the wage subsidy scheme.

"So, it's fair to say that no lender is 'lending' to people receiving a wage subsidy because you can't draw down a loan while you are on it," Mr Deeter of mortgage brokerage Yes.ie said.

Broker Michael Dowling of Dowling Financial Services in Dublin said many banks were telling brokers not to send them applications at the moment for people receiving State supports.

"This is blatantly unfair because most will be back on wages soon. But they are taking the view that until they are back getting their full wages from their employer they are not comfortable taking a mortgage application from them," he said.

For the first time, AIB admitted it is "pausing" lending to customers on the pandemic unemployment payment and the temporary wage subsidy.

Analysts said the changes in lending criteria amount to a de facto ban on mortgage lending to those receiving State wage subsidies.

The moves also apply to those seeking a mortgage from EBS and Haven.

The bank is also heavily scrutinising applications from people working in what the banking group regards as high-risk sectors such as hotels and restaurants.

It outlines that "currently the bank's position on customers who are in receipt of any element of the Employer Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme or the Pandemic Unemployment benefit is to pause these applications until such time as the impacted customer is no longer in receipt of the payment".

The circular notes that there are "strictly no exceptions to this position".

AIB said it seeks to achieve a sustainable business model that protects its customers, the bank and the wider economy now and in the future.

It regularly reviews its lending policies to take account of any emerging risks, the bank said.

"At a time of unprecedented economic instability triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, AIB considers it prudent to review its mortgage lending policies to ensure our mortgage loans continue to be suitable and affordable for our customers," the banking group said.

Irish Independent