Banks ready to assist customers


Banks ready to assist customers

Published Date: 2020-03-24 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Banks ready to assist customers

Standard Bank says it remains well capitalised and liquid but cannot estimate the likely negative impact Covid-19 will have on its performance.

Standard Bank is offering small businesses and students debt payment relief for three months due to the disruption that's being caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It says the debt holiday is intended to address the economic and cash flow constraints that are likely to arise.

Nedbank said it would support clients by deferring debt repayments, extending existing loan periods or helping manage short-term cashflow shortfalls. FNB said it continued to work with the Banking Association of SA, in engaging with the Reserve Bank and government on a number of solutions aimed at supporting consumers and businesses and would make more announcements on the nature of the support in the days ahead.

All of Standard Bank's local small enterprise customers with turnover of less than R20 million, who have a business loan and are in good standing, will automatically get a payment holiday from 1 April to 30 June. However, interest and fees will still accrue over the period and will be capitalised to the loan. It said the terms of repayment would be automatically extended to maintain the affordability of payments once the moratorium expired. The measure would help small business clients manage their cash flows and honour payments to their employees.

Full-time students with a Standard Bank Student Loan in good standing would also automatically receive a payment holding for the same three-month period. It wouldn't charge them interest or fees for the three months and would also extend the terms of repayment, the bank said.

As of last Friday, the bank's qualifying, performing small enterprise portfolio was worth around R12 billion and its student portfolio equated to approximately R1.5 billion.

Standard Bank said it remained well capitalised and liquid.

Its shares declined 11% to R89.11 yesterday while Nedbank shed 15% to R75.25 and FNB parent FirstRand declined 8.3% to R33.90. Absa closed 11% lower at R74.81.

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