Irish banks are re-allocating staff across the business to deal with a massive increase in calls from customers seeking financial support and mortgage payment breaks as a direct result of Covid-19.
Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) says member banks are experiencing a 400% increase in calls seeking financial support, including an average of 7,000 calls a day from customers on mortgage-related concerns.
BPFI CEO Brian Hayes says there have been monumental changes to manage the flow of calls and applications with customer facing staff working around the clock to help those most impacted.
“All bank systems have been simplified and are running live since Monday morning," he says. "Banks worked 24 hours a day over the weekend to make sure new easy to follow application systems were put in place for customers impacted by Covid 19 and the staff helping them to make their application."
With banks also experiencing reduced staff numbers because of a variety of Covid-19 related circumstances, non-customer facing employees from IT, credit and risk teams have been drafted in to help deal with customer queries.
As customers rush to their phones and online banking and information services, Ireland's major banks are reporting a dramatic decline in footfall on the high street, down 20-24% week-on-week.
Says Hayes: "BPFI are planning an advertising campaign in the coming days in association with the five retail banks to communicate key detail to customers and to highlight that priority is being given to those impacted by Covid-19.”