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Saturday, Dec 05, 2020

Royal Bank of Scotland defers mortgage payments for customers hit by coronavirus

The Royal Bank of Scotland has vowed to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months for customers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
RBS says it will also waive early closure charges on fixed savings accounts and provide refunds on credit card cash advance fees to help affected customers access much needed funds. Customers will be able to ask for an increased cash withdrawal limit of £500 to help them cope with the outbreak as well as higher temporary credit card limits.

The bank has followed the lead of the Italian government, who said it will suspend mortgage repayments and other household bills across the nation as the whole country is put on lockdown. Emergency measures in the country will see tax and small interest payments halted for an indefinite period of time.

Attempts to keep businesses and households ticking-along come as European markets suffered some their heaviest losses since the devastating 2008 financial crash, as employees fall sick, border checks are tightened and consumers stay inside.

An RBS spokeswoman said: ‘We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.’

Meanwhile Natwest has promised £5 billion in funds for small and medium sized UK businesses who are losing out from coronavirus-related disruption.

It has also vowed to allow overdrafts beyond existing limits and credit card as high as £500,000 to help people with their cashflow.

The bank, which is part of the RBS group, says the money is an extension of its current £6 billion growth funding package firms who could struggle with the fallout of Brexit. The new funds will be used to provide temporary no-fee loans and to cover repayment holidays of up to six months.

Natwest said it would contact small firms experiencing short-term trading issues due to coronavirus and offer them support.

The state-backed bank’s CEO Alison Rose said: ‘This is a priority for NatWest and we will remain proactive, continuing to listen to our customers – we are here to support and can help businesses manage any short term disruption.’

Meanwhile Lloyds is offering relief on fees and loan repayments to small firms hit by the disease, which has now infected 319 people in the UK, killing five patients.

Britain’s biggest domestic bank said it would offer £2 billion of finance with no fees to affected small firms with a turnover of up to £25 million.

The funding is part of its expected 18 billion pound of business lending this year.

Lloyds has itself been impacted by the virus, shutting a call centre in Northern Ireland that employs 1,000 people after a member of staff tested positive for the virus.

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