Samoa Commercial Bank offers help during lockdown

The Samoa Commercial Bank Limited (S.C.B.) has become the latest bank in Samoa to step up to help their customers by releasing a list of support measures for their clients in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

The measures were announced in public notice issued by the bank and signed by the financial institution's Managing Director, Lemalu Ray Ah Liki. 

It was not possible for the Samoa Observer to interview the Bank for more details on their assistance. However, in their announcement, S.C.B. acknowledges the struggles experienced by businesses.

To help, the bank is offering support to small to medium businesses customers, individual personal loans as well as clients under the Samoa Business Hub, Agribusiness and Low Income Schemes.

Business customers are able to apply for repayment deferrals for up to three months, with the chance to reduce payments by reconstructing payment amounts and extending loan terms.

The restructure fee will be waived, the support notice reads.

Existing small to medium businesses that are impacted by the effects of the coronavirus in Samoa can apply for a temporary line of credit. The line of credit will be provided under a 90-day temporary overdraft.

If approved, the line of credit can be added to an existing overdraft facility.

Also, personal loan customers can apply to top up on their existing loans should they need extra funds to sail through this period.

The last measure focuses on a Agribusiness and Low Income scheme provided by the S.B.H. through credit provided by the S.C.B. and the Development Bank of Samoa. 

The S.C.B. has promised that all clients under the scheme that they are also able to apply for a grace period for loan repayments if necessary.

The S.B.H. scheme has already supported 1,000 small-to-medium size businesses to get off the ground and supporting families.

S.C.B. is the last one of the four commercial banks in Samoa to release it's customer relief packages to combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 

Earlier this week, Bank of the South Pacific (B.S.P. Samoa) announced that they are monitoring the evolving nature of COVID-19 and is arranging relief packages to assist its customers during this period.

BSP Samoa will be providing relief packages for its customers including, a three months interest only for businesses of all sectors. (This has already been effectively applied to all eligible business customers), a three months repayment suspension only if reduced hours or loss of employment for personal loan customers and a three months P&I repayment holiday on a case by case basis due to loss of employment for home loans.

Last week, the National Bank of Samoa (N.B.S.) was encouraging their customers to talk to the bank as soon as possible as the country braces for the financial impact of the COVID-19 restrictions. 

Solutions offered by the bank to relieve pressure off their clients include reducing or temporarily moving to interest-only repayments, helping with restructuring loans, consolidating loans to help make repayments more manageable, providing access to short-term funding, and reviewing some of our debt recovery actions. 

Earlier in March, ANZ Pacific introduces a number of support measures for individuals and businesses in the Pacific, including a reduction of .50 per cent per annum on all local currency overdrafts, variable term loans and variable home loans.

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