April 30, 2020 / 3:47 PM / a month ago

Irish central bank expects lenders to make early provisions over loan breaks

FILE PHOTO: Offices in the Central Bank of Ireland are seen in the financial district in Dublin, Ireland November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland’s central bank said on Thursday it expected lenders to set aside a prudent overall provision for tens of thousands of coronavirus-related loan breaks, before such provisions are taken at the individual borrower level.

Ireland’s five retail banks, specialist and non-bank lenders agreed on Thursday to extend loan repayment breaks for customers hit by the coronavirus crisis to six months from three months after granting over 65,000 mortgage breaks and more than 22,000 business breaks to date.

“The Central Bank expects lenders to prudently assess the level of distress in their loan books and for this to be reflected in provisioning levels, notwithstanding that provisions may not yet be taken at an individual borrower level,” the regulator said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Mark Potter

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