Standard Bank says it has granted instalment relief to nearly 150,000 clients

Standard Bank says it welcomes the announcement of the Covid-19 Term Loan Scheme for small and medium enterprises by president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The R200 billion scheme brings much needed and welcome relief to businesses that have been adversely affected by the Covid-19.

Standard Bank said it has granted instalment relief to nearly 150,000 clients in need of financial support in the wake of the national lockdown, amounting to over R1 billion per month on the R44 billion of total loans affected.

The lender said it is in consultation with the government on the implementation of the scheme and will be ready to receive applications as soon as all industry parties have concluded engagements and signing arrangements.

The application form will be made available on the bank’s dedicated Covid-19 website.

“We continue to support our business banking clients. Furthermore, we fully support initiatives from government to help stimulate economic activity and to protect businesses and jobs,” said Funeka Montjane, country executive, Personal and Business Banking South Africa, Standard Bank.

“It will take a collaborative effort between government, business and society at large to navigate the impact of Covid-19 and place South Africa on a path to economic recovery.”

How the Covid-19 Term Loan scheme will work:

Business customers with an annual turnover of less than R300 million will be able to apply for a Covid-19 term loan.

A business must also be:

  • In good standing as at 29 February 2020 with their bank;
  • Registered with the South African Revenue Services;
  • Have no existing capacity to borrow;
  • Negatively impacted by the Covid-19 lockdown and the resultant slowdown in the economy.

Funds borrowed through the scheme can be used for a business’s operational expenses such as salaries, rent, lease agreements and contracts with suppliers. Loans will cover up to three months of operational costs.

Standard Bank SME support

In addition to the above scheme, and in response to Covid-19, Standard Bank said that business clients with turnover of less than R20 million per annum have been automatically offered instalment relief via a three month payment holiday.

All business clients have been offered a range of relief measures, on an opt in basis, ranging from payment holidays, instalment reduction, debt consolidation, interest rate reduction to ex gratia insurance payment for lost income.

The ban said it is also administering the South African Future Trust, which provides relief in the form of a five-year interest free loan for SMMEs, for the purpose of supporting permanent employees of the business.

To date, over 9,000 employees of Standard Bank small business customers are being supported with wage-relief through this scheme, it said.

Read: Standard Bank boss talks job cuts and branch closures in pursuit of digital transformation

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Standard Bank says it has granted instalment relief to nearly 150,000 clients