CIBC FirstCaribbean yesterday unveiled a range of options, including up to six-month loan moratoriums, to cushion COVID-19’s economic fall-out for clients across The Bahamas and wider Caribbean.
Following the lead set by its fellow Canadian-owned institution, Royal Bank of Canada, CIBC said in a statement that it was ready “to offer special assistance on a case-by-case basis” for borrowers and other clients across its retail, business banking, wealth management and corporate banking segments.
It added that this “special assistance” could include deferred loan payments; special loan financing; and other concessions aimed at softening the financial impact of the pandemic on households and business across the Caribbean.
Among the solutions being proposed by CIBC are six-month payment moratoriums on existing loans and mortgages; temporary revolving or working capital financing options for corporate and business banking clients.
Colette Delaney, CIBC’s chief executive, said the bank was “very conscious of the financial dislocation which the ongoing COVID-19 event will have on our clients across all segments of our business, and we are moving to mitigate the effects as best as we can”.
She added that the special assistance being offered was critical to maintain confidence and stability in the regional banking sector as it weathered this period.
Ms Delaney urged CIBCFirstCaribbean clients who may be experiencing challenges to reach out to the bank to see what assistance could be offered to them.
Clients experiencing financial challenges can contact:
• Retail and business banking clients: The customer care and sales centre or branch directly
• The relationship manager for platinum banking
• The business banking manager
• Corporate and investment banking clients: Contact the relationship management team directly by telephone or e-mail.
• Wealth management clients: Contact your relationship management team to arrange the earliest opportunity to discuss specific needs, either by telephone or by e-mail.
CIBC’s action comes after Royal Bank unveiled a three-month deferral of loan repayments for clients in The Bahamas and wider Caribbean who were in good standing as at March 2, 2020.
Detailing its response to the coronavirus pandemic, Royal Bank said: “Effective immediately, most RBC personal banking clients in the Caribbean will benefit from an automatic three-month payment deferral on credit facilities.
“Business and corporate banking clients are also eligible for the relief programme, following individual eligibility assessments with an RBC representative. Automatic payment deferrals will be applied as of March 17, 2020, and remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until further advised.”
To qualify for the initiative, RBC said its personal banking, business and corporate clients must be current and in good standing with their loan accounts as of March 2, 2020. It added that clients already participating in other RBC relief programmes are excluded from the initiative.
The Canadian-owned bank said its goal was to help clients manage the potential financial fall-out from COVID-19, especially the loss of jobs or income; childcare disruption due to school closures; or dealing with the virus itself.
RBC added that it was continuing to monitor the coronavirus, and its economic impact, in all territories in which it operates and “may consider other relief measures if necessary”.