Tuesday, April 20

Banks sensitise branches on moratorium, relief steps

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Banks have started sensitising their branches about three months’ moratorium on all term loans, including home, auto and crop loans, to help customers in overcoming financial difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent nation-wide lockdown.

Several banks on Tuesday said they have informed and provided their branches with the detailed guidelines on various schemes announced by the RBI recently and customers are being sent messages individually on their registered mobile number about the EMI payment.

Union Bank of India managing director Rajkiran Rai G told PTI that branches have been informed about with respect to moratorium on all term loans.

“In case of those who have opted for ECS route for EMI deduction, customers are given the option of availing the facility by informing the branch concerned through mail or other digital medium,” he said.

Banks on its own unilaterally cannot stop ECS payment due to legal issue but the customer has the option of requesting bank to stop it, Rai said. He further said the customers whose income has not been impacted are encouraged to continue payment as per the scheduled.

“As per covid-19 regulatory package of RBI, Indian Bank allows a moratorium by deferring payment of EMI/ Term Loan Instalments & Interest/ Interest on Working Capital for 3 months w.e.f March 1, 2020,” a tweet issued by the banks said.

Another public sector lender PNB said it presents relief scheme for its customers. “In view of covid-19, it has been decided to defer payment of all installments on term loan and recovery of interest on cash credit facilities falling due between March 1,2020 and May 31, 2020.”

Canara Bank tweeted, “In terms of Covid 19 – RBI package, borrowers are eligible for moratorium/ deferment of installments/EMI for Term loans falling due from 01.03.2020 to 31.05.2020 and repayment period gets extended accordingly. SMS also has been sent to customers to avail the same.”

With banks clarifying their positions on EMI moratorium, it will help clear doubts of customers who were confused after getting payment reminders from lenders.

Last Friday, the RBI had announced that all term loans, including retail and crop loans and working capital payments, will be covered by the three-month moratorium.

Banks will now have discretion in deciding the limits on working capital, with RBI saying that no payment miss should be considered a default and reported to credit information companies.