COVID-19 | Retail banks assistance for businesses hit by the crisis

April 01, 2020 | 3 minute read

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Retail banks assistance for businesses hit by the COVID-19 crisis

A key determinant in the survival of business in the COVID-19 crisis is liquidity. Malta’s leading banks have over the past week contemplated assistance to businesses which are adversely hit by the economic crisis brought about by the world pandemic. Nexia BT brings you a roundup of the support provided by each bank. 

Bank of Valletta p.l.c. has announced the following measures for its corporate clients which will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Capital repayment holidays ranging from between three and twelve months;
  • Ease of trade finance services via internet banking at no additional cost; and 
  • Provision of direct working capital for customers facing short term cash flow issues, which may not exceed €500,000 per customer. Loans are for a period of six months and priced at 3.5%, repayable over twelve months at no charges. 

HSBC Bank Malta p.l.c has introduced measures in support for local businesses who meet credit criteria and which will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. These include:

  • Short-term capital repayment holidays on term lending, to clients facing a loss of business;
  • Fee-free temporary short-term working capital funding;
  • Faster turnaround on the issuance of Shipping Guarantees and waiver of urgency fees; and
  • Waiver of amendment fees on Letters of Credit impacted by delays.

Lombard Bank Malta p.l.c shares the same concerns as the rest of the local banks and is mindful of the shortages in liquidity which companies are facing, especially in terms of working capital.

In its contribution to the business community, the bank is making available short-term financing for each eligible customer, up to €350,000, at a fixed debit interest rate of 2.5% per annum for a period up to 18 months. No processing fees shall be charged on such facilities. 

APS Bank p.l.c is seeking to reciprocate the trust shown to it over the years by its clients and is offering the following measures to appease the shortfall in liquidity faced in these difficult times. 

  • Minimum of 3 months capital moratoria reflecting the respective business cycle of the particular industry;
  • Increases in overdraft limits; and
  • Suspension of financial covenants and other relief measures according to the nature of the request. 

In all these cases, rescheduling and processing fees are being waived.

The majority of these retail banks have also made available other assistance for clients making use of personal banking, which might be more relevant for self-employed or micro-enterprises. 

How can we assist?

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any assistance in relation to this.

Get in touch with us through email to clarify any aspect of this measure or the other measures and incentives like the Teleworking Grant Scheme, Business Continuity Amid COVID-19 Outbreak or the Malta Financial Aid Package.

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