Allied Irish Bank (GB) has announced details about how the bank is supporting business customers affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the news that Allied Irish Bank (GB) has now been approved for accreditation by the British Business Bank as a new lender for the government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to provide term loans.
Over the last six weeks, the bank’s team have experienced a significant surge in customer calls and queries, having responded to over 16,000 calls in the last four weeks alone.
Over 600 business customers have requested extra support with 99.5% of all applications to date receiving approval. This support has included payment holidays on loans, overdraft extensions, working capital facilities, relaxed covenant terms, loans and overdrafts. This activity has been carried out before the bank’s accreditation to CBILS by the British Business Bank.
The bank has also provided investment to Trinity College Dublin to support the development of a vaccine for COVID-19. AIB Group has provided over £2 million funding to establish a research hub at the University to urgently accelerate its immunology project designed to develop a vaccine which can tackle the pandemic. Alongside this, the AIB Group has also launched the ‘AIB Together’ initiative to help support local communities by raising much needed funds for charities who are central to the management of the pandemic. Staff have set a target of raising €1m with the Group agreeing to match all funds raised to support local charities, such as Age UK, who are working hard to support the most vulnerable at this difficult time.
Speaking about the banks response to COVID-19 Adrian Moynihan, Head of AIB NI & Interim Head of GB, said: “These are extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures. In the face of this unprecedented medical, social, and economic crisis, we are keen to mobilise all the resources at our disposal in a strategic way. We are also delighted to support the efforts of scientists to develop the much needed vaccine for COVID-19.
“We are very conscious of the pressures that our business customers are under and have been proactively reaching out to them to offer the best tailored support possible to alleviate their financial concerns.
“Not surprisingly for many of our business customers the solution does not involve further capital borrowing or loans. Instead, we are working hard to offer them immediate cash flow support through, for instance, repayment holidays and relaxation around lending covenants.
“While it differs from sector to sector, those requiring loans have been accessing the Bank’s own competitive products to date and now we are in a position to offer them access to the Government backed CBILS scheme where this is the most appropriate solution.”
Mark Medd, Regional Director London, South and West at Allied Irish Bank (GB) added: “We are constantly look- ing at ways to support our customers during these difficult times and it is great news that we are now in a position to deliver CBILS support. As the situation evolves, we can assure customers that we will remain flexible in our response and continually review our services as necessary, always putting their needs and safety at the forefront of our thinking.
“Our amazing staff have been keen to help and are also developing various creative fundraising methods to support the ‘AIB Together’ initiative. What’s more, the bank has given £1000 to every one of our business centres and branches to donate to a charity of their choice. Business banking services are available through the normal channels including branch and business centre support, telephone and online banking as well internet business banking.
“The safeguarding of customers, staff and communities continues to be Allied Irish Bank (GB)’s main priority as the situation with COVID-19 evolves and customers are asked to only visit a business centre if it is absolutely essential.”