Roundtable: Distressed Debt

When 10 July 2020 10:00 AM
Where Webex

On 10 July 2020, the Central Bank of Ireland hosted two roundtable discussions with key stakeholders to discuss issues and challenges in resolving problem debt, both pre-existing and arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation and Director General for Financial Conduct in the Central Bank attended both sessions along with representatives from a wide range of stakeholder groups working with people and businesses experiencing distressed debt, as well as academic researchers in the area and industry representative organisations.

Participants discussed their experiences of supporting borrowers in distress and the effectiveness of the supports and solutions in place for these borrowers. They provided insights and suggestions for how to address the key issues and challenges that may present due to COVID-19. A summary of the issues discussed include:

  • the importance of clear, transparent communication from lenders to borrowers;
  • the availability of face-to-face interaction;
  • the impact of COVID-19 on non-mortgage borrowers and other vulnerable areas of society;
  • the availability of temporary arrangements for short term financial distress; reviewing the use of the court system for borrowers in distress; and
  • the need for liquidity amongst SMEs and the provision of flexibility post payment break expiry as uncertainty remains regarding future impacts of COVID-19.

As the Central Bank is one of a number of stakeholders in the area of distressed debt, it will consider the issues raised as they relate to its mandate, which will help inform its approach. The Central Bank thanks those who participated for a very useful and insightful discussion.

Attendance at this event was by invitation only.