Statement from Bank of Ireland on coronavirus pandemic

17 March, 2020: Bank of Ireland is committed to supporting customers through the coronavirus pandemic. The Bank has a range of supports in place for personal customers and businesses, and is working to meet demand for these as quickly as possible.

Francesca McDonagh, Group CEO of Bank of Ireland, commented:

This is a national emergency, and our response to it will be as strong as possible – for our customers, colleagues, the economy, and society as a whole. We know that the services we provide are critical. We have a range of options in place for customers, and we will do more to find solutions during this very challenging time.

For almost 240 years we have been a business that exists to serve our customers. That focus remains unchanged.

Bank of Ireland is taking the following steps:

For business customers

  • We are providing emergency working capital, payment flexibility on loan facilities, the provision of trade finance and foreign currency products, and the prioritisation of loan decisions.
  • We have established new processes for dealing with requests from business customers impacted by Covid-19 so that we can respond to their needs as quickly as possible.
  • We are prioritising Covid-19 related inquiries over other business as usual activities. This includes streamlining requests for payment breaks so that these can as far as is possible be delivered before the next payment falls due.

For personal customers

  • We are enabling payment breaks and flexible arrangements for mortgages and personal loans.
  • We have waived contactless fees for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • We will buy back foreign currency at the rate it was sold, for customers impacted by travel disruption to ensure they do not suffer financial loss.

Our branches

  • We are keeping our branches operating as normal. Only a small number of branches on college campuses and hospitals are closed.
  • We are assessing government and health authority advice on an ongoing basis.

Supporting social welfare payments

  • We are working with the Government and partner banks through the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI), as a matter of urgency, to support a State-sponsored unemployment refund scheme. This is designed to get social welfare payments distributed to people who have lost their jobs as quickly as possible using the banking system.

The Bank is monitoring the Covid-19 crisis closely. We will provide further updates as the situation develops – see