Nedbank offers clients debt relief measures to mitigate COVID-19 impact

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Banking group Nedbank has announced a number of debt relief measures to help its clients mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the bank said it would offer “suitable individual solutions” to its clients, including small businesses.

It said, “This support could include deferring payments (or part thereof) for a suitable period, extending existing loan periods or extending additional credit to manage short term cash-flow shortfalls.”

Clients should contact bank

Nedbank urged its clients to contact it and small business owners to speak to their dedicated relationship banker should they need assistance.

“We continue to work with our clients, regulators, industry bodies and government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and will provide further guidance to clients on these matters as they evolve,” the bank added.

Nedbank’s announcement comes soon after Standard Bank announced a three-month payment holiday for small businesses on Sunday, starting from 1 April.

It said, “We will set up automatic new payment terms for all our clients with a turnover of less than R20 million per annum, who are up to date with their payments as at the end of March 2020 and are in good standing with Standard Bank.”

Student loan payment holiday

Standard Bank further announced a three-month payment holiday for student loans, also starting from 1 April at 0% interest and with zero fees.

To be eligible, students should still be studying full time and have a student load with Standard Bank. “This is an automatic offer that requires no action from you,” the bank said.

The banks’ announcements follow the Minister of Small Business Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni’s initiative last week to establish a small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMME) Support Intervention to help small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ntshavheni said the Intervention will comprise a Debt Relief Fund and a Business Growth/Resilience Facility.

She added, “The Debt Relief Fund is aimed at providing relief on existing debts and repayments to assist SMMEs during the period of the COVID-19 State of Disaster.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to announce further measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on Monday following the National Command Council’s meeting on Sunday.

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