By Bernd Debusmann Jr
ADCB said it would allow payment deferrals and waive interest charges for a period of up to three months for individuals who have been placed on unpaid leave as a result of the virus
Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank will defer loan payments and waive interest for up to six months for customers impacted the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the bank has announced.
According to ADCB, the decision – which comes into effect on April 2 – will support 1.2 million retail customers of both ADCB and Al Hilal bank, in addition to 50,000 small and mid-sized enterprises that bank with ADCB.
The relief measures for ADCB’s customers will be subject to “an appropriate level of scrutiny”, according to the bank.
The bank said it would allow payment deferrals and waive interest charges for a period of up to three months for individuals who have been placed on unpaid leave as a result of the virus, as well as for customers with personal and car loans or mortgages.
No extra charges will be incurred.
Other relief measures announced by ADCB include a 5 percent increase in loan-to-value ratios for first time home buyers, as well as a refund for processing fees on foreign currency credit cards and a 50 percent reduction in late charges on credit cards.
ADCB is so far the only bank in the UAE to have announced similar relief measures.
The moves comes after the UAE’s Central Bank launched a $27 billion package to support its banks as it seeks to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19.
Other banks in the UAE have been forced to adjust operations as a result of the virus outbreak.
First Abu Dhabi Bank, for example, has suspended some banking services at its branches across the UAE – including cash deposits – as a precautionary measure amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A statement on the bank’s website said that “cash deposits will only be made through ATMs, with no coins allowed until further notice”.
“Cheque deposits are to be made through smart cash deposit machines and cheque drop boxes,” the statement added. “We kindly ask you to minimise visits to the branches where possible, and to use alternative banking channels.”