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150,000 requests to FNB, WesBank as South Africans struggle in lockdown

Car repayments are a struggle for cash-strapped South Africans hurt by the lockdown.
Car repayments are a struggle for cash-strapped South Africans hurt by the lockdown.

Payment breaks on more than 500,000 loans have been agreed to by FNB and WesBank for customers whose finances have been affected by the lockdown.

The payment breaks on credit agreements over three months are for nearly 150,000 individual and business customers since April 1, the institutions said on Wednesday.

The relief includes payment breaks and/or credit insurance assistance of more than  R4.3bn.

 The CEO of car financer WesBank, Chris de Kock, said: “We have received a significant uptake from our customers on our Covid-19 payment relief options to dull the affect of the crisis.

“We have provided relief to customers' instalments to the value of R951m. Qualifying customers have either been granted a moratorium and a contract extension or if they bank with FNB, a payment break through the bank’s Covid-19 application process.”

Both options are available for a maximum of three months.

While FNB’s payment breaks are provided to individual customers across the bank’s full credit product range, the bank has revealed that nearly 127,000 individual customers have been offered contracts on overdraft and credit card facilities, with contracts for relief on personal loan repayments at 83,000 and home loans in excess of 33,000.

FNB CEO Jacques Celliers said: “Our approach is to offer qualifying customers a payment break by paying instalments on their behalf for three months. As a result, we have structured our assistance at prime interest rates to alleviate the financial burden and give customers the flexibility to repay the facility over flexible terms. Similarly, we continue to scale our support for businesses to help them manage the immediate affect of the lockdown. We will also support businesses beyond the lockdown through the Covid-19 loan scheme that was recently announced by the government.”

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