Following in the footsteps of Standard Bank, FNB and Nedbank announced this week that they will be offering new measures to support residents in financial distress during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nedbank noted that the bank will assist clients in anyway possible including deferring payments or portions of payments, extending loan periods and extending credits to better manage short-term cash flow shortfalls.

“Clients are encouraged to contact us on 086 055 5111 or small business clients can speak to their dedicated relationship banker if they need to restructure their debt or change their payment arrangements as a consequence of Covid-19,” Said Nedbank to IOL.

FNB has also displayed their willingness to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) customers who are dramatically financially affected by the pandemic.

Part of their dedication towards SMEs will include assisting with stabilising cash flow as well as customers who need to cover unexpected expenses during this difficult time.

The bank stated that more information on their support options would be available in the coming days, saying that SMEs and a viable consumer market are vital to South Africa’s economic growth.

Last week, Standard Bank released a statement saying they would help customers with interim debt repayment measures while the pandemic is affecting the local workforce.

While these three banks are leading the way for assisting those in need during these trying times, the SA Reserve Bank has not announced any such measures.

As of April 1, Standard Bank’s payment relief for their small enterprise customers with a turnover of less than R20-million will commence and run to the end of June.

New automatic payment terms set up by the bank for SMEs will assist them in managing their cash flows while helping them to honour their employees.

“The relief will come from capitalising the interest and fees typically paid to the bank each month and changing the terms of repayment to a later date. This, we hope, will relieve cash flow constraints currently caused by the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Lungisa Fuzile, the chief executive of Standard Bank.

These offerings require no actions from customers in need and will be automatically implemented.

ABSA is still in the process of evaluating the impact of COVID-19 before releasing information about assisting customers during this time.

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