Banks pledge financial help to customers and businesses affected by coronavirus
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will allow customers affected by coronavirus to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months.
TSB will also give customers repayment holidays for up to two months.
The change mirrors action taken by the Italian government, which has suspended mortgage repayments and other household bills while the country is on lockdown because of coronavirus.
Both RBS and TSB will waive early closure charges on fixed-rate bank accounts to allow customers to access their cash if they face financial difficulty due to coronavirus.
Customers who face financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus will also be able to:
- Get refunds on credit card cash advance fees
- Increase credit card cash withdrawals on their credit cards up to £500
- Have the option to temporarily increase their credit card limit
A spokesperson from RBS, says: “We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.
We also have operational resilience plans in place that reflect guidance from public health authorities to ensure we can continue to serve our customers.”
Financial help for businesses
NatWest has pledged £5bn to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK that are disrupted by coronavirus.
Support for businesses will include loan repayment holidays and temporary emergency loans with no fees.
Alice Rose, CEO at NatWest says: “This is a priority for NatWest and we will remain proactive, continuing to listen to our customers – we are here to support and can help businesses manage any short-term disruption.
“SMEs should not feel like they have to go through these uncertain times alone, we are here to help.”
Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, has pledged £2bn of funding to help SMEs affected by the virus.
Businesses will not be charged arrangement fees for new overdrafts or overdraft limit increases.
Arrangement fees will also be waived for new or increased invoice discounting and finance facilities.
Some business customers will also be able to take loan repayment holidays depending on their circumstances.
David Oldfield, group director of commercial banking at Lloyds Banking Group says: “We fully understand how worrying these times are for business owners, concerned not only about their and their own family’s health and wellbeing, but also of their employees.
“They are also worried what the outbreak might mean for their business and with no knowledge of how or when they might be affected”