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Group CEO Karen Darbasie

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From next week, Scotiabank will offer assistance to customers who have been impacted by COVID-19 by allowing them to defer their loan payments for up to six months.

The bank noted that this will be structured where customers will be given a three-month deferral, with the possibility of extension for a further three months.

The suspension covers loan payments including mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and lines of credit.

Managing director of Scotiabank TT, Stephen Bagnarol commented: “No doubt our customers and their families are being impacted during this challenging period.”

He said: “We want them to know that we are here to provide relief and help them manage through the financial stress caused by COVID-19.”

For retail clients, Scotiabank noted that payments for secured and unsecured loans may be deferred for up to six months and debt consolidation and fixed payment plans are currently available for customers requiring long-term financial assistance.

The bank indicated that this offer includes mortgages, all Scotia Plan Loans, Auto Loans, Scotia lines of credit and credit cards.

Business banking customers will receive the same benefits as retail banking clients but Scotiabank mentioned no processing fees will be applied to loans extended for working capital support for businesses affected by COVID-19.

According to Scotiabank, Corporate and Commercial Customers will receive support to maintain their operations if they are impacted by COVID 19.

The bank said it will also continue to offer a robust online banking platform to process payments to staff and suppliers thereby providing them with flexibility and ongoing connectivity to operate their business remotely.

Scotiabank added that these offers will be subject to applicable terms and conditions and requests will be assessed on an individual basis.

Meanwhile, First Citizens has developed relief concessions for its customers.

In a release, Group CEO Karen Darbasie indicated: “Our deepest concern is for the welfare of our employees and our customers, and for our customers, we have activated key measures to help them through the financial difficulties they may face at this time.”

With immediate effect and through the next three months (in the first instance) customers will have the interest rate on First Citizens credit cards reduced to 1.67 per cent per month.

Customers will also be allowed to defer their monthly credit card payments for the period and late fees related to credit cards will be waived for the period.

First Citizens noted that the deferral of loan installments will be automatically applied for customers of good standing, along with the commensurate waiver of penalty charges and fees.

The bank has also reduced the Prime Lending Rate on all impacted loan facilities from 9.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, effective March 20, and the rental fees on the Point of Sale terminals at the bank’s merchants will be waived for the period.

First Citizens expressed that it will make customised and flexible payment options available.