Abu Dhabi banks offer loan and financial relief amid virus outbreak

Pedro Gonçalves
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Abu Dhabi banks offer loan and financial relief amid virus outbreak

Abu Dhabi has announced  17 financial relief measures to provide immediate needs of individuals and SMEs and the stimulus package is expected to reduce finance-related costs, facilitate the ease of access to financing and maintain the resilience of the Abu Dhabi economy, according to local newswire, WAM.

A collective effort by Abu Dhabi banks - First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) - in coordination with Abu Dhabi Department of Finance and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, the package is aimed at supporting the community and businesses in Abu Dhabi during the current period of economic uncertainty.

Abu Dhabi's stimulus package includes offering refinancing, loan repayment deferrals or lower repayments where required.

Moreover, to encourage early settlement and refinancing of existing loans, the banks will offer a 50% reduction on associated bank charges as well as interest charges on new loans and credit cards until 30 June 2020.

Individuals who are impacted by COVID-19 may obtain these benefits, upon request to their banks. Deferred instalments (principal and interest) of existing personal and auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards will be made available for up to three months for eligible customers until the end of June 2020 with no additional bank charges.

Foreclosures on mortgages will be halted for defaulted customers until 30 June 2020 and there will be a halt in the suspension of bank accounts for retrenched customers until the end of September 2020.

Full refunds can be obtained on credit card processing fees on foreign currency transactions committed after 1 January 2020, associated with cancellation of travel plans. Lastly, instalment programmes will be made available with no service fees for utility bill payments until 30 June 2020.

All individuals, upon request to their banks, may defer instalments (principal and interest) on new personal and auto loans, mortgages, and credit cards for up to three months for eligible customers until the end of June 2020, along with a reduction of 50% in associated bank charges.

To encourage early settlement and refinancing of existing loans, there will be a 50% reduction on associated bank charges for eligible customers until 30 June 2020. In addition, there will be a reduction in interest charges on new loans and credit cards for eligible customers based on new prevailing rates.

For school tuition fees, interest-free instalment plans with either a waiver of service charges or 0% interest loan will also be provided until the end of June 2020. Other measures announced also include reducing the required down-payment by 5% for first-time home buyers.

As for SMEs, the seven measures dedicated to them would enable SMEs to mobilise their borrowings and savings more efficiently, while reducing the financial costs of running their businesses.

The banks are also working with all customers to ascertain the COVID-19 impact on their cash flows, to provide further support in loan restructuring or deferment.

 

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