The banks are also providing their customers with enhanced credit and trade lines to manage ongoing operational costs/Bloombergby Kudakwashe Muzoriwa
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has asked local banks to offer companies relief measures including refinancing and repayment referrals as part of measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
According to the Dubai Media Office, the measures announced by the banks seek to support the UAE Government and the Central Bank of the UAE’s six-month economic stimulus package as well as the Dubai Government’s three-month economic stimulus package to support businesses.
Measures include offering refinancing, repayment deferrals or lower repayments where required. From 1 April until 30 June 2020, Dubai-based banks will waive loan repayments for three months for individuals on unpaid leave and small businesses.
Furthermore, retail loan customers who have been placed on unpaid leave by their employers can approach the bank for a repayment holiday of up to three months with zero interest and fees.
Financially impacted customers can request up to three deferred monthly instalments without fees and profit charges and debt consolidation solutions can be provided upon request.
“The combination of deferring payments, reducing or waiving selected fees, and supporting those whose jobs have been affected will enable corporations and individuals throughout the UAE to weather these unprecedented challenges,” HE Humaid Al Qutam, the Chairman of Commercial Bank of Dubai.
Moreover, finance to property value for first-time homebuyers has been increased by five per cent—up to 85 per cent for UAE Nationals and up to 80 per cent for expatriates.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman of Emirates NBD, said, “We were among the first to recognise the needs of our customers, and the measures we are announcing today will supplement the reduced fees and charges we already put in place for corporate banking customers two weeks ago.”
Dubai-based banks implementing these initiatives are Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, Dubai Islamic Bank, Mashreq Bank and Commercial Bank of Dubai. The banks will also reduce the minimum monthly balance for business accounts to AED 10,000 ($2,700).
The banks will also support for affected customers trading in the UAE bourses by offering suitable instalment payment plans against additional collateral to help them regularise their margin trading positions.