Scotiabank (Bahamas) yesterday became the latest commercial bank to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by offering distressed borrowers a three-month loan repayment holiday.
Unveiling its Customer Assistance Programme, Scotiabank said retail customers’ loan repayments will automatically be deferred for up to three months. However, those wishing to opt out can continue to make their loan payments as they have always done.
Roger Archer, Scotiabank (Bahamas) managing director, said: “We are aware that our customers and their families are being impacted during this challenging period. Our focus is to provide relief and help them manage through the financial stress caused by COVID 19.”
For retail customers, Scotiabank said repayments for secured and unsecured loans will be deferred for three months with a possible extension for another three months. Debt consolidation and fixed payment plans are also available for customers requiring long-term financial assistance
The Canadian-owned bank said this offer includes mortgages, all Scotia plan loans, lines of credit and credit cards, and will be available up until June 2020. Loan fees and penalties for late payments will be waived on customer assistance facilities.
As for small business, corporate and commercial customers, Scotiabank said it will provide support across various industries on a "case-by-case basis" to maintain their operations.
It added that this assistance may take the form of temporary principal payment relief on term loans for up to six months, with a corresponding extension on the loan. Scotiabank added that increased working capital lines of credit to cover payments and other business expenses may also be provided.
Scotiabank said it will waive loan fees for additional working capital for businesses impacted by COVID-19. And its online banking platform will continue to process payments to staff and suppliers, thereby providing customers with flexibility and ongoing connectivity to operate their business remotely.
The Canadian-owned bank said requests will be assessed on an individual basis. It urged customers to reach out to their relationship manager to discuss any need for support, and told them to sign up for online banking so they can conduct transactions remotely and practice social distancing to curb COVID-19's spread.