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Financial services 29 April 2020

Standard Bank welcomes COVID-19 loan relief scheme

As one of the largest business lenders in South Africa, Standard Bank welcomes the announcement of the COVID-19 Term Loan Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The R200bn scheme brings much needed and welcome relief to businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19.

It is a reinforcement of what Standard Bank has already committed in assisting Small and Medium Enterprises. To date Standard Bank has granted instalment relief to nearly 150 000 clients in need of financial support in the wake of the national lockdown amounting to over R1bn in instalment relief per month on the R44bn of total loans affected.

Standard Bank is in consultation with Government on the implementation of the Scheme and will be ready to receive applications as soon as all industry parties have concluded engagements and signing arrangements. The application form will be made available on our COVID-19 website.

“We continue to support our business banking clients. Furthermore, we fully support initiatives from government to help stimulate economic activity and to protect businesses and jobs. It will take a collaborative effort between government, business and society at large to navigate the impact of Covid-19 and place South Africa on a path to economic recovery,” says Funeka Montjane, Country Executive, Personal and Business Banking South Africa.

How the COVID-19 Term Loan scheme will work

Business customers with an annual turnover of less than R300m will be able to apply for a COVID-19 Term Loan.

A business must also be:

  • In good standing as at 29 February 2020 with their Bank
  • Registered with the South African Revenue Services
  • Have no existing capacity to borrow
  • Negatively impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown and the resultant slowdown in the economy

Funds borrowed through the scheme can be used for a business’s operational expenses such as salaries, rent, lease agreements and contracts with suppliers. Loans will cover up to three months of operational costs.

Standard Bank SME support

In addition to the above scheme, and in response to COVID-19, Standard Bank Business clients with turnover of less than R20 million per annum have been automatically offered instalment relief via a three month payment holiday and all Business clients have been offered a range of relief measures, on an opt in basis, ranging from payment holidays, instalment reduction, debt consolidation, interest rate reduction to ex gratia insurance payment for lost income.

Standard Bank has also taken an active role in administering the South African Future Trust, which provides relief in the form of a five-year interest free loan for SMMEs, for the purpose of supporting permanent employees of the business. Thus far, over 9 000 employees of Standard Bank small business customers are being supported with wage-relief through this scheme. For more around this scheme, visit our SAFT Loan COVID-19 website page.

“As a responsible corporate citizen the relief measures are part of our ongoing commitment to our clients as we aim to ease their financial burden in these trying times. Their financial wellbeing remains our main priority. We continue to engage with industry and regulatory stakeholders to find ways to assist individuals and businesses facing financial challenges and support the government and the country,” reiterates Funeka Montjane, Country Executive, Personal and Business Banking South Africa.

Should customers wish to find out more information about any of the above, we urge you to contact your relationship banker or visit our COVID-19 website.