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JOHANNESBURG - With the economic realities of the 21-day coronavirus lockdown in South Africa hitting home, the country's big banks have stepped forward to offer some relief to some of its clients through payment holidays.

Payment holidays are simply a freeze on commitments such as loans and bonds for a certain period. Customers who may be in a tight financial spot can opt-in or just simply carry on paying their debts as usual.

Here's a full list of the various payment holiday terms being offered by the big banks.

FNB

From 1 April – 30 June 2020, FNB will implement measures to provide relief to individual and business customers whose financial stability has been impacted by the coronavirus.

The interventions will assist customers who demonstrate sound banking behaviour, such as having honoured their repayments to the bank on a consistent basis prior to the outbreak.

For those customers that qualify, the interventions will be for all products with FNB, will be available for a period of three months and cover the following:

• Instalment cashflow relief, during which part or no instalments/repayments will be due for a specific period;
• A preferential interest rate will apply to the COVID-19 relief interventions given;
• No fees will be charged for any relief granted;
• Assistance with processing credit insurance claims, where possible;
• Individualised bridge facilities for those who need it.

Interest and fees will continue to accumulate on outstanding balances.

Individuals and business customers can contact FNB via their usual digital and assisted banking channels to enquire about these services.

Standard Bank

Financial relief for businesses:

Standard Bank has the Coronavirus Business Interruption Payment Scheme, which will provide loan instalment relief to businesses for 90 days. This scheme will launch on 1 April and strives to support small and medium-sized businesses with a payment holiday.

You are eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Payment Scheme if:

  • Your business is South African based, with a turnover of no more than R 20 million per year.

  • Your Business Current account, Bizlaunch account and Business Lending accounts are paid up to date.

  • Your business is in good standing.

This offer will be automatically applied, however, should you wish to opt-out of the instalment relief, pay your loan instalment or email businessassist@standardbank.co.za.

Personal loan relief for businesses:

The instalment relief will defer payments on credit cards, home loans, personal loans and vehicle loan payments held Standard Bank from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 for qualifying customers. Interest and fees will accrue over this time.

You are eligible for the instalment relief if:

  • You have a Standard Bank Business Current account.

  • You are the owner of a small business with a turnover under R20 million a year.

  • You have a Standard Bank credit card, home loan, personal loan and/or vehicle loan.

  • Your accounts are not in arrears as at 31 March 2020.

Exclusions

  • Customers whose payments are in arrears as at 31 March 2020 are not eligible for this offer.

  • This offer excludes home loans held in a trust.

  • This offer excludes overdrafts.

This offer will be automatically applied, however, should you wish to opt-out of the instalment relief, pay your loan instalment or email businessassist@standardbank.co.za.

Instalment relief for those earning under R7,500pm:

You are eligible for the instalment relief if:

  • You earn less than R7,500 per month.

  • You have a personal loan with Standard Bank (access loan, credit card, home loan, personal loan, revolving credit plan, vehicle asset finance).

  • Your account is not in arrears as at 31 March 2020.

  • You have a current account with Standard Bank.

Exclusions

  • Clients whose payments are in arrears as at 31 March 2020 are not eligible for this offer.

  • This offer excludes overdrafts.

Should you wish to opt-out of this offer, simply pay your loan instalment or email DebtCareCentre@standardbank.co.za.

Payment relief for students:

You are eligible for the instalment relief if:

  • You are still studying full-time.

  • You have a student loan with Standard Bank.

  • Your loan account is not in arrears as at 31 March 2020

Standard Insurance is implementing a 25% cashback relief on its car insurance premiums.

Nedbank

Nedbank will review your current loan repayment commitments and consider the most appropriate solution for you, that will ease your cash flow commitments.

These could include entering payment arrangement options that are tailored to suit you based on your household’s cash flow being negatively impacted at this time.

These include:

• Payment arrangements – temporary arrangement allowing you to repay a reduced amount over a limited timeframe.

• Payment holidays – a temporary suspension of your monthly repayment based on your household’s cash flow being negatively impacted in that you cannot make payment to service any of your debts at this time.

• Restructures – rearrangement of the current monthly repayment schedule, which may result in an increase of the original loan term.

• Each case will be reviewed individually, and the most appropriate solution recommended. It is important to note that there remains an obligation on you to pay your loan agreements.

• The above solutions do not result in a reduction in your overall obligation to service your debt.

• For clients requiring an early release on their investment funds to supplement any cash flow challenges experienced during this period, Nedbank will waive the penalty fee for up to the value of R200,000 at an overall portfolio level.

• This offer applies over the next three months between 24 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 unless otherwise communicated (capped at R200,000).

• Clients will need to confirm, in writing, that the early release request is due to income shortfall.

ABSA

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 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.

This article first appeared on EWN : LIST: These are the lockdown payment holidays being offered by SA's big banks

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