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Standard Bank offers payment holiday to customers earning R7,500 or less

29 March 2020 - 16:12 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Standard Bank is rolling out initiatives to help customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. File photo.
Standard Bank is rolling out initiatives to help customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. File photo.
Image: Financial Mail

Standard Bank customers earning R7,500 or less will receive three months' instalment relief on their personal accounts — provided they are not in arrears — within days.

The announcement was made by the bank on Sunday as part of its efforts to help customers navigate their financial commitments as Covid-19 makes an impact on the livelihood of people across the country.

“This relief applies to qualifying customers and their associated accounts, which include home loan, vehicle and asset finance, credit cards as well as short term loans. Customers who opt for the relief will see their interest and bank charges capitalised over the term of their loan agreements,” said the bank's CEO of personal and business banking, Funeka Montjane.

The three-month instalment relief would become available on April 1 and last until the end of June.

Montjane said customers did not have to contact the bank to initiate the offer, but could continue to pay their accounts as usual should they not want to take up the offer.

It is the second time the bank has taken steps to help customers affected by the pandemic.

Last week it announced instalment relief for SMEs and full-time students who had taken out loans.

“The bank’s small enterprise clients with a turnover of less than R20m were granted a three-month instalment relief on their business loan repayments. The latest instalment relief measure will further assist business owners who bank with Standard Bank in their personal and business capacity,” said Montjane.

The bank said its customers’ financial wellbeing remained a concern. It urged those in financial distress, not included in the three-month instalment relief offers, to contact it as soon as possible.  

“At Standard Bank, we are continuously looking for ways to provide the necessary assistance to our customers who have been impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are committed to helping those who are vulnerable at this time. It is critical that we try to ease their financial burden and do what we can to prevent somebody from losing their home or having to close their business. We continue to work with the industry and regulators to ensure that we can solve some challenges systemically and we will play our part responsibly to support government and the country,” said Montjane.

She said the banking sector had also decided to waive Saswitch fees during the lockdown. This means that a customer can use any ATM, including those of competing banks, and only pay the usual fees charged.