As many as 30,000 mortgage holders are being facilitated by the banks due to their difficulties in meeting their monthly repayments, according to the Irish Banking Federation.
Banks are working with their customers to help them though the current difficult period that has resulted in over-lending by the banks and over-borrowing by some of their clients.
Addressing the Chartered Accountants Leinster Society, Mr Farrell, chief executive of the IBF, said banks here would do everything possible to help people deal with their arrears.
The banks also have to be realistic and pragmatic in how they deal with struggling borrowers, he said.
“We currently have various initiatives from the Government and the Regulator and of course the sector itself, which has committed not to take legal action where homeowners engage with their financial provider.”
Banks accept the “need to look after people who have problems” in this very difficult climate, he said.
He stressed the banks “will engage constructively and proactively — with the minister and with other stakeholders — to develop solutions that are socially and economically responsible and which assist in the overall goal of economic recovery”.