Stanbic Bank Kenya has announced a three-month loan repayment holiday for its customers to cushion them from adverse effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the economy.
In a statement on Sunday, March 29, 2020, Stanbic Bank Kenya’s Chief Executive Charles Mudiwa said this applies to all Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and personal banking customers.
The loan holiday, Mudiwa said, will be effective April 1, 2020.
“We recognize that we are collectively affected by the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and strive to put in place contingency plans to mitigate against disruption to our customers. The reality is SMEs are going through a tough period. We are therefore committed to unlocking new solutions to allow them to continue to run their businesses efficiently. We must keep Kenya moving, ” said Mudiwa.
The CEO said commercial clients can contact the bank for assessment and restructuring of their loans based on their respective industry circumstances from the Pandemic.
“We are working closely with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) to consult on extra measures that we can implement to protect our customers against the adverse economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19),” Mudiwa added.
Customers who require the loan holiday will need to send requests on or before March 30, 2020.
This comes just days after Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge asked banks to extend loan repayment period for their customers by one year due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
“While the extent of the adverse effects is still evolving, it is already evident that the impact on some of the customers may be severe. To help alleviate the adverse effects, the banks will seek to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans based on their individual circumstances arising from the pandemic,” Njoroge said on March 18 after a meeting at State House Nairobi.
“Banks will meet all the costs related to the extension and restructuring of loans,” the Governor said.
The meeting had been convened by President Uhuru Kenyatta to find measures of stabilising the economy in the face of the pandemic.
Njoroge stated that banks will also waive all online costs for balance inquiry and cash transfers to mobile banking, in a move meant to encourage Kenyans to use mobile digital platforms. Most banks have complied with the directive.
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in adverse effects on businesses, as some have been forced to halt operations and send employees home.
Some of these sectors affected include retail, hospitality and tourism industry, public transport, media and the banking industry.
To cushion Kenyans from unprecedented economical effects of COVID-19, the President directed a reduction of the income tax rate from its maximum of 30 to 25 per cent.
President Kenyatta announced a 100 per cent tax relief for people earning a monthly gross pay of up to Ksh24,000.
The Head of State ordered a reduction of resident income tax (corporation tax from 30 to 25.