COVID 19: ABSA steps in to cushion the strain of a Nationwide Lockdown

COVID 19: ABSA steps in to cushion the strain of a Nationwide Lockdown

CEO of Absa SouthAfrica, Daniel Mminele

Absa, South Africa’s largest financial services group has rolled out a debt-relief programme for retail and corporate clients to cushion the effect of a nation wide lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus. It joins  rival Standard Bank in its corporate social responbilities.

 CEO of Absa SouthAfrica, Daniel Mminele in a press release on Sunday gave light to the banks stimulus package.

“We realise that this is a difficult time for our customers and businesses whose financial means are being negatively affected,”.

Absa’s programme, which starts on April 1, came three days after SA entered a lockdown that restricted economic activity to a few industries and raised worries about its impact on distressed consumers and businesses, especially smaller businesses with limited cash buffers.

It also came 24 hours after the SA Reserve Bank fired its latest salvo to help the economy navigate the next few weeks, saying it would allow lenders to dip into the capital buffers from April 1 and free up about R320bn in lending.

Absa which has over 1.3 trillion rand in assets and employs 40,000 people, said the programme for its corporate and business clients will entail solutions based on their unique requirements and operations.

For retail clients, the programme incorporates a three-month payment holiday and allows customers to reduce their monthly repayments.

“This means the programme will give customers the opportunity to either continue paying if they are in a position to, to pay reduced instalments by agreement with the bank, or to defer payments for a period of three months,” the company said.

What is the objective of ABSA’s debt-relief programme?

The programme will afford clients who are affected by the pandemic to defer payments for three monts and opportunity for paying instalments at reduced rates. It also extends to countries where they operate around the world.