The banks and the Government are aware of the great challenges that are facing so many. We have put in place and released the supports that made a difference to so many at such a crucial time. Payment breaks were applied to 157,000 customer accounts over the past six months. Those related to mortgages, personal loans and SME loans, and they were a source of considerable relief to customers at a time of great uncertainty. Approximately 89,000 of these payment breaks were granted to mortgage customers. Almost 37,000 of those customers subsequently opted to take a second three-month payment break, meaning the majority of customers had enough confidence and certainty to come off their initial three-month break. Payment breaks were put in place for 32,000 SMEs and for 4,000 corporate customers.
The Deputy is aware of the guidance from the European Banking Authority, EBA, in regard to the phasing out of, and the changing of the guidelines on, payment moratoria. I have met and engaged with the banks this week in this regard and in regard to how we can make sure the right level of support is available to those who need it across the coming weeks and months.
I listened to what Deputy Doherty said about other countries. However, he did not mention that, for example, in Germany those breaks are on offer in 21% of banks. Here, in Ireland, it is 100% of the banks, but he did not mention that in the contribution he made. He made reference to Spain, but he did not make reference to the fact that those who are able to access those breaks access them if they see their income fall by more than 40%. What we have done here in Ireland is something that is broad and that has made a difference to so many. If he is going to compare us to other countries, Deputy Doherty should portray the full picture of what has happened in other countries and allow the record of what we have done here in Ireland a fairer comparison.