Ulster Bank announces an extension of 60% of payment breaks

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The Irish unit of NatWest stated that Ulster Bank is extending approximately 60% of payment breaks that they gave out to their 12,000 mortgage customers that requested a 3-month payment break. These extensions are certainly welcome news to the mortgage customers at Ulster Bank who got extensions. Mortgage customers that got this payment break extension now have more time to get back on their feet financially.

Many of Ireland’s banks offered 3-month payment breaks in March to help mortgage customers deal with the financial turmoil caused by the pandemic. They also agreed to extend the payment breaks to 6-months for mortgage customers that needed extra financial relief as the nations of the world wrestled with the pandemic. In addition to payment breaks, they also offered temporarily reduced mortgage payments for a set time period during the pandemic. These payment breaks and temporary reduced payment plans do not decrease the total mortgage amount that needs to be paid in accordance with mortgage legal documents. They only offer a temporary financial respite until the financial calamity caused by the pandemic subsides.

By the end of June, Ulster Bank extended 4,000 payment breaks for their mortgage customers according to the half-year results that were released on Friday. A company spokesperson announced that approximately 60% of their mortgage customers were chosen to have their payment breaks extended from 3 months to 6 months as nations were still struggling to stop the pandemic.

Ulster Bank’s Chief Executive Jane Howard told RTE that the amount of extended payment breaks met expectations given the current situation.

Ulster Bank was the first of major Irish bank to provide details of how many payment breaks have been extended. Their banking rivals will report their first-half results sometime next week.

Ulster Bank also provided payment breaks for roughly 3,000 commercial customers and reported a €276 million operating loss for the first half of 2020. NatWest Group reported a 770-million-pound pretax loss for the first half of 2020. The large size of NatWest Group’s pretax loss is mainly due to the new impairment charge of 278 million euros, which was part of the provision’s 2.1 billion pounds at NatWest.

Given that brands may ride or die based off their response to the pandemic in the coming years, Ulster Bank may have just gotten a lot more brand loyalty from their customers.

This article was written by Ian, an intern at Irish Mortgage Brokers and Yes.ie from the USA.