Standard Chartered has announced that it will commit $1bn of financing for companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic.
Companies in scope include all those associated with helping to tackle covid-19, including manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers, as well as non-medical companies that have volunteered to add this capability to their manufacturing output - goods in scope include ventilators, face masks, protective equipment, sanitisers and other consumables.
Simon Cooper, CEO of corporate, commercial and institutional banking at Standard Chartered, said: "Clearly there's a cost for companies to switch into these hugely in-demand items, so it's an area where we can help them get up and running more quickly. At the same time, we want to make sure that existing manufacturers and service providers get the support they need."
The London-headquartered international bank, which has operations across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, says it intends to provide at least $1bn of financing at preferential rates to companies in the form of loans, import/export finance or the working capital facilities that they use for day-to-day business.
Cooper added, "Our industry teams are looking across our client base and, given our understanding of clients' current manufacturing processes, we're assessing which companies might want to consider adding these items to their production line."
All financing will be subject to companies having received regulatory approvals to manufacture the goods.
The bank emphasised it will continue to serve all of its clients during what is a challenging period for all companies, from small businesses to large multinationals.
Through individual country and regional efforts, Standard Chartered has already donated $1.85 million to covid-19 relief efforts to date.