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RAKBank on Tuesday announced plans to provide financial relief to its customers impacted by the economic consequences of the coronavirus, also known as the COVID-19. Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBank) on Tuesday announced plans to provide financial relief to individuals, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and corporates impacted by the economic consequences of the coronavirus, also known as the COVID-19.

Earlier a number of UAE banks had announced various relief measures for customers including retail, SMEs and large corporates impacted by the global pandemic.

Effective immediately, RAKBank made a commitment to work with customers to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19 or those customers facing illness from the virus, the bank said in an emailed statement.

Peter England

“We are continuously monitoring the developments of the coronavirus and are always prepared to support our customers facing financial hardship or loss of income due to the COVID-19’s economic impact on individuals, SMEs and corporates, including elimination or reduction of many fees,” said Peter England, CEO of RAKBank.

Retail banking

For individual customers the bank will provide payment deferrals of up to 3 months on auto loans and personal loans for COVID-19 impacted salaried and self-employed individuals without any charges. In addition, credit cardholders will be given a choice to defer card payments for one month without any deferral charges.

The bank will also provide customers with an option to convert education and electronic spends on their conventional credit cards into an easy payment plan (EPP) option at 0 per cent interest rate and zero processing fee for up to 24 months.

“With schools being hard to reach at the moment, we advise parents to conduct all school-related payments digitally through RAKBank’s Skiply App for those school that use this platform,” the bank said.

SME customers

SME business owners facing hardship due to the public’s precautionary spending and reduced economic activities and aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to contact the bank and discuss options for financial relief that could be available for them. This includes reducing RAKBank’s SME prime lending rate and offering payment relief to customers availing business loans or asset backed loans up to a period of 6 months for businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 without any additional fees incurred or penalty interest charged.

RAKBank established a direct helpline to assist its business banking customers in these challenging times or urge them to directly contact their relationship manager for further assistance.

The bank said that trade finance solutions and real estate financing for the bank’s business banking customers will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and necessary assistance will be provided.

The bank will be waiving off local transfer charges conducted via the Digital Banking app or the ATMs and Electronic Deposit Machines (EDMs). RAKBank is also offering a onetime discount of up to 50 per cent on overdue transaction fees as well as discounts on trade finance services done via the Bank’s Digital Banking. Lastly, the bank is offering RAKstarter zero balance current account to start-ups and new entrepreneurs.

Wholesale banking

Wholesale Banking customers that are directly impacted due to COVID-19 are urged to contact their relationship managers to discuss any concerns they might have, and potential options and solutions that will help them overcome the current circumstances.

“RAKBank will monitor evolving conditions and consider more actions as necessary,” said England.

Call to go digital
RAKBank has called on all its customers, especially SMEs, to take their business online with several options to efficiently run their operations successfully and not have any health implications on the surrounding environment. RAKBank Simplify instantly transforms businesses onto a web platform. The Simplify platform’s monthly fee will be waived off for the next 3 months to businesses that offer essential services like delivery of medicines, groceries and other related services.