The COVID-19 outbreak has upended small businesses in different sectors at an alarming speed. Below you’ll find measures that banks are implementing in the CEE region to support their SME customers (information is being updated).
ING Bank Śląski
On March 13, ING Bank Śląski has introduced the option of automatical prolongation of revolving loans for three months.
A revolving loan that has not been restructured before or is not under the collection process will be renewed according to the new procedure with the possibility of another prolongation. To prolong the tenor of the loan, customers only need to accept a document that has been automatically issued by the Bank in the online banking system.
On March 16, ING Bank Śląski and ING Lease implemented a quick and simplified procedure for making decisions on the applications for changing the repayment schedule for installment loans and leasing agreements.
From March 16, Bank implemented the following solutions to support small business customers:
- SME and individual customers can apply and set a prolongation of loan repayment for up to 6 months purely online.
- Bank has launched a free accounting hotline for business customers with 100 experts available on the line. It can take three thousand incoming calls per day to support Bank’s customers on accounting and tax issues.
- Bank launched a separate webpage with bits of advice on how to manage a business from home.
- For the e-commerce customers for the period of the epidemic emergency, Bank resigned from charging fees for transactions when using the Paynow payment gateway (online payment system for e-commerce, created by mBank and mElements – an entity from the mBank group). In this way, mBank wants to support businesses that sell online or decide to start it.
On March 18, Bank announced a possibility to reschedule the repayment of principal & interest installments for up to 3 months. The repayment period will be automatically extended for the respective period. The suspension of repayment applies to installment loans, leasing, and factoring agreements.
Bank Pekao’s customers with credit lines, which tenor end in the coming months, can count on their renewal for a period of up to six months in a simplified approach. Bank will charge no fees for accepting and reviewing applications for suspension of repayments, and the submission of relevant requests can be made remotely.
Loan payment holidays at Alior Bank can be used by both individual clients and entrepreneurs who are experiencing worsening of their financial situation due to the epidemic crisis.
Bank announced a possibility to reschedule the repayment of principal & interest installments for up to 3 months or to reschedule the repayment of principal installments for up to 6 months. The repayment period will be automatically extended for the respective period.
We will consider customer requests as fas as possible and in remote processes.
During the nearest days, Santander Leasing will enable their customers to postpone the payment of the installment for March 2020, and next installments within leasing agreement or loan agreement for the term up to 6 months for SME customers. Also, there will be a possibility to postpone insurance payments.
Customers will be able to apply remotely without any need for Relationship Manager engagement and Customer’s visit to the Bank Branches.
Raiffeisen Bank Romania
For the entrepreneurs and legal entitires, representatives of which are in quarantine, self-isolation, or other special situations connected with the COVID-19 outbreak Bank will make individual decisions on each case under the customer’s request. Priority will be granted to the companies from the most affected industries in the short term.
Besides, Bank gives 0 fee for POS payments until April 30 to encourage electronic payments for merchants.
From March 17, the following measures came into force:
- Reduction of loan interest rates for the next six months, even up to 100%, where justified and analyzed the immediate and medium-term impact.
- To avoid bureaucracy and travel, a minimal number of documents will be required to submit respective applications.
Also, BT plans to implement the education and exchange of the best practices for entrepreneurs to support them in the new economic reality.
On March 13, Banks’s CEO, Tomáš Salomon, announced that Bank, in cooperation with the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, will enable entrepreneurs to obtain quick bridging loans to help them mitigate economic impacts of the epidemic. The details will be announced soon on the Bank’s website and social media channels.
From March 12, for the Express Business Loan, a customer can request a postponement of installments for a period of 3-6 months. Customers can apply via the Bank’s Call center and will not pay a credit management fee during the deferred business of the loan.
Each application is considered on an individual basis.
At the moment, commercial banks can’t take individual measures as the government and Central Bank are implementing centralized policies:
- The prime minister announced today for all customers (PI, SME & Corp) moratorium on loan repayment until the end of 2020.
- All short-term business loans for working capital financing are to be extended until 2020 June 30.
- The following sectors are considered as the ones that face significant problems: tourism, hospitality, entertainment, sports, cultural services, and passenger transport, taxi drivers. In these sectors, commercial mortgage lease agreements cannot be terminated, and rents cannot be increased.
During the next weeks, we’ll be following the information on how moratorium will be implemented by the banks and will publish the updates.