Coronavirus Response: Commission takes stock of implementation of financial sector relief measures for consumers and businesses

Today, Commissioner McGuinness will chair a roundtable meeting with the European financial sector, including consumer and business association representatives, to evaluate relief measures adopted to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The meeting comes as consumers and businesses continue to be impacted by the pandemic. Topics on the agenda include a discussion on measures aimed at supporting consumers in relation to over-indebtedness and measures to assist businesses impacted by the shutdown of significant parts of the economy. The objective is to have an open dialogue about relief measures in the financial sector and their application at national level. The discussion concerns initiatives such as payment moratoria, safer cashless payments while ensuring cash payments remain available for those who need them, and loans that aim to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Commissioner McGuinness said: ”I appreciate the readiness of consumers, business organisations and financial sector participants to work together to try and find solutions to support those who need it most in these difficult times. Even when the intensity of the pandemic abates, we will need to be mindful of its long-term consequences for some time to come. I look forward to exploring what improvements to current relief measures could be useful for consumers and businesses, and also how fair and balanced solutions can be found to help citizens and viable firms when support measures are gradually phased out in the future.” As announced in the Commission’s Banking Package on 28 April 2020, on 28 May 2020 there was already a first meeting of the roundtable to mark the beginning of a dialogue with the European financial sector to see what practical relief measures can be put in place to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus crisis. Today’s roundtable follows the adoption of a list of “best practices” agreed by the financial sector and consumer and business organisations in July 2020.