Individual and commercial customers of at least one commercial bank who are negatively impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) are in line for some help.
On Wednesday, RBC Royal Bank said it would be providing financial relief to its Caribbean clients impacted by the pandemic.
“Effective immediately, most RBC Personal banking clients in the Caribbean will benefit from an automatic three-month payment deferral on credit facilities. Business and Corporate banking clients are also eligible for the relief programme, following individual eligibility assessments with an RBC representative,” the bank said in a statement.
Automatic payment deferrals will be applied as of March 17, 2020 and remain in effect until June 30, 2020, or until further advised.
To be eligible for the programme, Personal banking or Business and Corporate banking client accounts must be current and in good standing as of March 2, 2020. Clients who are already participating in RBC relief programmes for other circumstances are excluded from this programme.
The bank said this scheme was intended to provide flexible solutions and help clients manage through the impacts of COVID-19, such as pay disruption; childcare disruption due to school closures; or dealing with the COVID-19 illness itself.
“These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of the financial system and the critical role banks play in the economy. RBC will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the evolving economic conditions in each country and territory where the bank operates. RBC may consider other relief measures, if necessary,” the Canadian-based financial institution stated.
“RBC has a long history of standing by Caribbean clients through challenging times and this commitment will continue throughout this crisis and beyond,” it added.
Barbados TODAY understands that discussions between the local banking representatives, clients and regulators were ongoing regarding possible plans should the pandemic becomes worse and further disrupt lives.
The good news from RBC comes as Barbados records two cases of the viral infection to date.
It also comes a day after tourism industry officials reported a further dramatic falloff in business and looming fears of widespread job losses as countries continue to restrict travel and flights are grounded.
Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Stephen Austin said he would be meeting with Government to get members a reprieve from paying taxes.
He had also indicated that the BHTA would be seeking a meeting with the banking association to discuss how tourism industry workers could get help over the next three to six months with paying back outstanding loans.