State won't force banks to help
MEASURES introduced to relieve financially burdened flood victims in the UK have included extended mortgage repayment holidays and raising the maximum daily amount that can be withdrawn from ATM machines.
Some Irish banks are now following suit – but yesterday the Government said it had no plans to pressure banks to introduce such reliefs.
The Department of Social Protection is co-ordinating the relief effort. "I'm not aware that anything of that nature (like in the UK) is planned at the moment," a department official said at a briefing by the National Emergency Co-ordination Centre.
"We have people on the ground in all the areas that have been affected in the recent storms."
The Department of Finance confirmed that no negotiations had taken place with banks to force the introduction of reliefs.
AIB has promised to offer "flexibility" in repayment schedules, including holidays and interest-only periods.
The bank also said it could provide temporary credit facilities, pending the resumption of normal trading conditions and receipt of proceeds from insurance claims.
Bank of Ireland has announced a €20m fund for homeowners and businesses.
Any homeowners, sole traders, businesses and farmers carrying out remedial work or repairs up to €25,000 will be eligible to avail of discounted rates for loans, according to the bank.