Banks to help on case-by-case basis

26 March 2020 | Banking

After extensive consultation with the Bank of Namibia (BoN), the Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has collectively advised on measurements put in place by all commercial banks in the country to mitigate the effects and curb the spread of the COVID-19, as well as given assurances on case-by-case funding relief according to each bank’s respective rules.
BAN chairperson Sarel van Zyl said that BAN member banks will remain open for critical services such as deposits, withdrawals and transfers. Branches, ATMS and all other electronic transactions will remain available. All banks are monitoring the spread of COVID-19 infections locally and are cognisant of the fact that the health and safety of all employees, customers and the community remain a priority.
Van Zyl advised encouraged clients to where possible, only make use of the numerous electronic service channels available from all commercial banks, and to make use of electronic transactions to avoid congestion at ATMs and branches.
In order to reduce the risk of infections, banks have put measures in place, such as all branches and departments receiving additional disinfectants including hand sanitisers. Additional cleaning of ATMs, Point-of-Sale devices and other surfaces that are human contact points take place regularly across the board, and all meetings with external parties have gone digital.
“All of the banks have a vast array of electronic banking options and these should be utilised for the foreseeable future. All banks offer internet banking, easy transfer of money, cellphone banking – meaning the need to go into a physically bank branch should be avoided at this stage,” Van Zyl said.
BAN member banks will also continue to provide funding where required against a strong business case and other relevant terms and conditions.
Payment relief to each bank’s existing client base will be made available to those customers impacted by COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis. Customers are advised to approach their respective banks rather sooner than later.
“The Bankers Association of Namibia encourages everyone to follow lockdown rules, to exercise careful hygiene through regular hand washing, and to maintain social distance to help curb the spread of the virus,” Van Zyl concluded.

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