First National Bank is giving all its existing customers an opportunity to apply for repayment holidays, where a temporary moratorium will be placed on loan repayments for up to six months.
According to the bank, the offer, which is part of its #RealHelp package is to bring relief to customers impacted by novel Coronavirus pandemic.
#RealHelp is a raft of relief packages put together by the bank to mitigate the impact of the novel Coronavirus on businesses and individuals.
In a statement issued by the Bank, its Chief Executive Officer, Richard Hudson, stated that this is supposed to give customers some time to re-organize their finances.
“Customers have also been given an option to apply for repayment holidays, where a temporary moratorium will be placed on the loan repayments for up to six months. This is expected to give customers some leeway to reorganize their finances which may be negatively affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“Customers can apply for the repayment holiday on the First National Bank app or by using the quick code *877# on its Cellphone Banking platform.,” he added.
The CEO also encouraged customers to patronize the offer as it has been digitized, thereby, facilitating the process.
“The entire process has been digitized so there’s absolutely no paperwork and that also means response times will be faster. We believe these interventions will assist customers who have demonstrated sound banking behaviour, such as consistently honouring their repayments to the bank before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he noted.
The Republic Bank Ghana, was the first to announce an offer of Loan Repayment Deferment for its customers and staff for a period of six months.
First National Bank cuts interest rate by 2% to alleviate impact of COVID-19
In addition, the Bank has also announced a 2% interest rate cut on loans to all existing customers from 1st April 2020 for the length of time until a loan is due of all Ghana-cedi denominated loan facilities.
This comes after the Ghana Association of Bankers announced a cut in its benchmark interest rate by 200 basis points to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and individuals.
Prior to this announcement, the Bank of Ghana had reduced the Monetary Police Rate from 16 to 14.5%, to enable banks reduce interest rate in the wake of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Head, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at the Bank, Delali Dzidzienyo also stated that, the bank appreciates that in these tough times, they need to stand together with customers by offering them the #RealHelp they need to make it through these tough economic times.
“With these initiatives, we want to consolidate our position as the most helpful bank in Ghana. We are offering our customers a real helping hand in a very difficult time as many businesses will not perform as well as they had hoped this year; and many individuals will not earn the monthly incomes that they normally expect. The #RealHelp we are offering is not a one-size-fits-all solution but is tailored to each customer’s unique situation which ensures that we give them the necessary help they that need in this particular circumstance.”
Following the outbreak of the virus, business activities across the world have fallen sharply in addition to disruptions in supply chains, dragging down commodity prices,” he said.
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in the country, which necessitated a partial lock-down in Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi has caused a lot of business activities to fall sharply. In addition, there has been some disruptions in supply chains.
Currently, the country has recorded 636 cases, 8 deaths and 17 recoveries.