A leading bank in South Africa, Standard Bank, has welcomed the R200 billion COVID-19 Term Loan Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which brings much needed relief to businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 in the country.
The move is a reinforcement of what Standard Bank has already committed in assisting Small and Medium Enterprises. To date Standard Bank has granted instalment relief to nearly 150,000 clients in need of financial support in the wake of the national lockdown amounting to over R1bn in instalment relief per month on the R44bn of total loans affected.
Standard Bank is in consultation with government on the implementation of the Scheme and will be ready to receive applications as soon as all industry parties have concluded engagements and signing arrangements. The application form will be made available on the COVID-19 website.
Country Executive, Personal and Business Banking, Funeka Montjane, who recently made the disclosure through a communiqué on the company’s website, said, “We continue to support our business banking clients. Furthermore, we fully support initiatives from government to help stimulate economic activity and to protect businesses and jobs. It will take a collaborative effort between government, business and society at large to navigate the impact of COVID-19 and place South Africa on a path to economic recovery.
“The COVID-19 Term Loan scheme will have customers with an annual turnover of less than R300m apply for a the loan. Among the criteria for eligibility, the said business must be in good standing as at February 29, 2020.” Standard Bank has also taken an active role in administering the South African Future Trust, which provides relief in the form of a five-year interest free loan for SMEs, for the purpose of supporting permanent employees of the business. Thus far, over 9,000 employees of Standard Bank small business customers are being supported with wage-relief through this scheme.