The relief includes payment breaks and credit insurance assistance.
Cape Town – Financial services providers, First National Bank (FNB) and WesBank on Wednesday said they have approved payment breaks on more than 500,000 credit agreements for nearly 150,000 individual and business customers since April 1.
The relief includes payment breaks and credit insurance assistance in excess of R4.3 billion to help customers whose finances have been affected by Covid-19.
“Our approach is to offer qualifying customers a payment break by paying installments on their behalf for a period of three months. As a result, we have structured our assistance at prime interest rates to alleviate the financial burden and give customers the flexibility to repay the facility over flexible terms,” FNB chief executive, Jacques Celliers said.
“Similarly, we continue to scale our support for businesses to help them manage the immediate impact of the lockdown. We will also support businesses beyond the lockdown through the Covid-19 Loan Scheme that was recently announced by the government.”
While FNB’s payment breaks are provided to individual customers across the bank’s full credit product range, the Bank has revealed that nearly 127,000 individual customers have been offered contracts on overdraft and credit card facilities, with contracts for relief on personal loan repayments at 83,000 and home loans in excess of 33,000.
In line with industry guidelines, FNB and WesBank said they would continue to assist customers in good standing from the end of February 2020 – in particularly customers who cannot meet their credit agreement payments as a result of Covid-19.
“We have received a significant uptake from our customers on our Covid-19 payment relief options to dull the impact of the crisis. We have provided relief to customers impacting installments to the value of R951 million. Qualifying customers have either been granted moratorium and a contract extension or if they bank with FNB, a payment break through the bank’s Covid-19 application process, both options are available for a maximum period of three months,” WesBank chief executive, Chris De Kock said.
“WesBank customers can apply online at www.wesbank.co.za and we will continue to assist them as far as possible within the respective guidelines stipulated by key industry stakeholders like [the Banking Association of South Africa] BASA and [the SA Reserve Bank] SARB.”
They said they would continue to work with industry and government to explore solutions for customers who may not qualify for relief under the current criteria, the statement said.
Customers are encouraged to use digital channels to access most services, including assistance with Covid-19 relief. FNB customers can also use the bank’s in-app messaging to request assistance with their day-to-day banking enquiries and WesBank customers can enquire via www.wesbank.co.za
– African News Agency