In an attempt to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 outbreak on the business community at large, UAE lender RAKBANK has announced several measures to mete financial relief to all its customers, it announced on Tuesday, March 24.
With immediate effect, RAKBANK will collaborate with individual customers, SMEs and large corporates on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them overcome challenges such as pay disruption, among others.
The bank will provide payment deferrals of up to three months on auto and personal loans to those whose salaries were impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and also to self-employed individuals, without any charges.
Also, credit cardholders will be given a choice to delay payments for one month without deferral charges.
The bank will provide customers with the choice to convert education and electronic spends on their conventional credit cards into an Easy Payment Plan (EPP) option at zero per cent interest rate and zero processing fee for up to 24 months.
The EPP solution will enable parents to meet their children’s e-learning needs and help individuals in their remote working endeavours, such as allowing them to buy laptops and tablets.
Small to medium sized business
Options for SME owners include the reduction of the bank’s SME prime lending rate and payment relief to customers using business or asset backed loans for up to six months without charging any additional fees or penalty interest.
To facilitate its business banking customers, a direct helpline has been established enabling them to contact their relationship managers for further assistance.
Meanwhile, trade finance solutions and real estate financing for business banking customers will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and necessary assistance will be extended, a statement said.
Wholesale banking customers
Wholesale banking clients are advised to establish contact with their relationship managers to discuss potential options and solutions.
Local transfer charges for transactions conducted via the Digital Banking app or ATMs and Electronic Deposit Machines (EDMs) will be waived while the bank aims to offer a one-time discount of up to 50 per cent on overdue transaction fee as well as discounts on trade finance services done via the digital banking app.
RAKBANK is also offering the option of RAKstarter zero balance current account to startups and new entrepreneurs.
All customers, especially SMEs, are encouraged to transition their businesses online for streamlining their operations and safeguarding their health. To achieve the same, the bank’s Simplify portal aids in the transformation of businesses onto a web platform.
Furthermore, the monthly fee of the Simplify platform for the next three months will be waived for businesses that offer essential services like delivery of medicines, groceries and other related services.
Meanwhile, the RAKBANK Simplify Commerce service allows merchants to generate and send secure payment links to customers to collect payments online.
“We are continuously monitoring the developments of the coronavirus and are always prepared to support our customers facing financial hardship or loss of income due to the Covid-19’s economic impact on individuals, SMEs and corporates, including elimination or reduction of many fees,” said Peter England, chief executive officer at RAKBANK.
“These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of UAE’s financial system and the strength of our regulators. RAKBANK will monitor evolving conditions and consider more actions as necessary.”
All customers were encouraged to replace physical branch visits with alternative channels for safety.