Absa reveals coronavirus payment relief measures

 ·29 Mar 2020

As South Africa and the world confront the public health, financial and economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic, Absa Group says it is rolling out an extensive relief programme for eligible customers impacted by the coronavirus.

“We realise that this is a difficult time for our customers and businesses whose financial means are being negatively affected. After careful consideration and engagements with regulators, we are pleased to introduce a comprehensive customer, business and corporate relief programme,” said Daniel Mminele, Group chief executive of Absa.

He said that the programme, effective on Monday, 30 March 2020, is in line with the principles of an industry agreed approach.

“We urge those of our customers who are able to continue making their payments, to do so.  This will enable us to extend these measures to many more who are not in a similar position,” Mminele said.

Eligible customers in need of short-term liquidity relief will qualify for the relief programme that applies to Absa’s credit products. These relief measures apply to Absa’s corporate, wealth, business bank, private bank and retail customers. Crucially, this programme will not attract additional administration fees for customers.

Support to corporate and business banking clients will entail solutions based on their unique requirements and operations. Businesses and corporates are encouraged to contact their relationship managers for further details, the bank said.

The programme incorporates a three-month payment relief and allows customers in need of short-term financial relief to reduce their monthly instalments.

Customers in good standing (with up-to-date accounts), and who have been financially impacted by the pandemic will have the opportunity to opt-in for payment relief, aimed at assisting with cash flow needs.

“This means the programme will give customers the opportunity to either continue paying if they are in a position to, to pay reduced instalments by agreement with the bank or to defer payments for a period of three months.

Relevant agreements will be adjusted, by revising the loan period and capitalising interest during the relief period.

“The programme is testament to our commitment to finding real, customer-focused solutions, in a time of great uncertainty for everyone,” said Arrie Rautenbach, Chief Executive of Absa Retail and Business Banking (RBB) South Africa,” Absa said.

The principles applicable to this relief programme in South Africa are extended to Absa’s other markets in Africa but will be implemented subject to the various conditions, laws and regulations applicable in each country.

“Absa campuses also have small and medium sized enterprises such as hairdressers, pharmacies, florists and coffee shops, among others as commercial tenants. In recognition of the role SME’s play in creating jobs and sustaining livelihoods, these businesses have been granted a rental holiday for the next three months,” said Mminele.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and adjust our relief programme where necessary.”

Read: Standard Bank announces second wave of Covid-19 relief

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