Cairo: Some banks in Kuwait have adopted a tougher lending policy towards expatriates, including setting KD700 as a minimum monthly salary for the would-be borrower, according to a local newspaper.
After a short relaxation in rules for offering loans to expatriates in Kuwait, several banks have reinstated tough borrowing measures to head off defaults, Al Rai reported, citing close sources.
The restrictions include imposing a ban on loans to migrant workers whose salaries are lower than KD700 and prohibiting the rescheduling of their present loans, they added.
In addition, these banks have stopped finances to the recently employed expatriates unless they have secured or highly paid jobs, they said
Exempted from the new salary limit are expatriates who have an end-of-service gratuity enough to repay their loans and are employed by such "stable" ministries such as those of health, education and Awqaf (endowments), they added.
Foreign workers in other places must prove they have an end-of-service gratuity enough to cover their loans and have a secure job.
Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 banks, other banks in Kuwait have curtailed their shares of expat customers, shifting focus on Kuwaitis and highly paid foreigners whose salaries are at least KD1,000 per month, the report said.
Foreigners make up nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait's total population of 4.6 million. Migrant workers account for 2.3 million of Kuwait's overall workforce, around 96 per cent of them are private sector employees, according to official figures.