Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group Kenya has restructured facilities worth over Ksh115.1 billion to cushion customers against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since mid-March, the Bank has approved the restructuring of Ksh91.3 billion worth of corporate loans and an additional Ksh20.4 billion in loans to mortgage customers. A further Ksh3.4 billion for retail customers has also been approved.
The debt-relief measures have seen customers apply for their loans to be restructured, credit lines expanded and loan tenures extended to keep them financially afloat.
KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara said customers can still seek deferment of loan payments on their personal, business, corporate and housing loans for disruptions caused directly by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We made a promise after the pandemic that we would walk the difficult journey ahead hand in hand with our customers. We are therefore offering relief to our customers, upon application so that they are able to weather this storm that was unforeseen the world over. We believe this will not only cushion businesses but create a multiplier effect that will ultimately help to save jobs,” said Mr Oigara.
“We know that the pandemic has affected everyone and we are offering extended financial assistance to provide additional relief to our customers to meet their needs and ambitions. We believe this will go a long way in helping them navigate through their most urgent and challenging situations.
The relief accommodation is being extended to distressed customers upon request and on a case-by-case basis, based on their circumstances arising directly from the pandemic.
For personal check-off loans and scheme loans, upon request by the individual borrower and the employer (corporate) respectively, the customers can enjoy an extended moratorium benefit for a period by 3 months.
Residential and commercial mortgages customers are getting a moratorium on the principal or both principal and interest for 3-6 months with interest being capitalized monthly as it falls due. However, the Bank could still extend the moratorium for a maximum of 12 months, depending on the severity of the COVID-19 effects on the customer’s business.
On the other hand, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) can opt for repayment moratorium of 3 months; waived negotiation fee for restructured facilities; and extension of period for up to 3 months as part of their debt relief accommodation.
Corporate customers can opt for capitalization of principal and interest in arrears as at March 31, 2020, as well as capitalization of future interest for 3-6 months based on cash-flows. Further, the Bank also avails a 3-6 months’ moratorium on principal on deserving sectors.
The bank will meet all the costs related to the extension and restructuring of loans. Customers who wish to access the relief are encouraged to contact the Bank either through their relationship manager or contact centre or by visiting any KCB branch.
To facilitate increased use of mobile digital platforms, KCB has also waived all charges for balance inquiry and for transfers between mobile money wallets and bank accounts.
During the period, the bank has also extended Ksh10 billion in loans to customers under its mobile banking platform and KCB M-PESA.
The measures aimed at cushioning customers were made in addition to the Ksh150 million contribution the bank made to the Kenya COVID-19 Fund, where Mr. Oigara sits as a board member and another Ksh20 million which went to the public health awareness campaign.
Further, KCB is part of the banks disbursing social welfare funds to vulnerable members of society under the government’s Inua Jamii Cash Transfer Programme.
In the current disbursement round, the bank is handling Ksh4.5 billion. Since its inception in 2015, the bank has disbursed Ksh72 billion to the cohort.
“We will continue monitoring the situation in Kenya and across all our business in the region and driving more awareness to ensure that we are not only prepared to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic but also protect our customers, staff and stakeholders from any potential risk,” said Mr Oigara.
“We are most definitely troubled by the turn of events and are possibly worried about what will happen next. In the midst of the crisis, we need to find solace and forge forward as a humanity. Our goal is to ensure that our customers and the nation at large come out of this stronger together,” Mr. Oigara said.
The bank has also temporarily suspended listing of customers who default on their loan obligations with the Credit Reference Bureaus (CRBs) with effect from April 1 in line with a directive issued by the government.
As the fight against this pandemic continues, KCB said it will continue to take measures internally to protect its stakeholders, in line with the guidelines issued by government agencies and other subject matter authorities across markets.