First National Bank (FNB) has been working to reconfigure its operations, where necessary, to operate efficiently and to help customers, especially those whose financial position has been impacted by Covid-19.
“Our aim is to ensure that all our customers can continue keeping their financial affairs in order through this difficult time and we believe that our ability to service customers through multiple market-leading digital channels has provided relative comfort to customers to continue managing their day-to-day-banking, investing, credit and insurance needs.
As we escalate our efforts to help customers, we are pleased to announce that from April 1 to June 30, we will implement measures to provide relief to individual and business customers whose financial stability has been impacted by Covid-19. Our interventions will assist customers who demonstrate sound banking behaviour, such as having honoured their repayments to the bank on a consistent basis prior to Covid-19,” says FNB CEO Jacques Celliers.
For those customers that qualify, FNB’s Covid-19 interventions will be for all products with the bank.
This will cover instalment cash flow relief, during which part or no instalments/repayments will be due for a specific period; a preferential interest rate will apply to the Covid-19 relief interventions given; no fees will be charged for any relief granted; assistance with processing credit insurance claims, where possible; and individualised bridge facilities for those who need it.
Interest and fees will continue to accumulate on outstanding balances.
Individuals and business customers have been advised to contact FNB via their usual digital and assisted banking channels to enquire about these services.
During this week, customers will also be able to get more information on the bank’s current Covid-19 relief measures through a dedicated icon on the landing page of the banking app.
At the same time, FNB is assessing potential financial solutions for those customers who do not qualify under the current criteria.
“We encourage all customers who can honour their financial obligations to continue servicing their repayments,” Celliers said.
FNB has also prioritised early invoice settlements for suppliers across the FirstRand Group and over R1-billion has been processed in the last few days.
“We are committed to continue expediting payments to local suppliers to help improve their financial stability.”
FNB has also made a contribution to FirstRand’s SPIRE initiative, contributing, alongside the FirstRand Foundation and RMB, to the group’s total anchor funding of R100-million.
Through SPIRE, FNB is also providing critical operational capacity (including its payments and governance platforms) to help the healthcare system scale its response to Covid-19, with a particular focus on testing equipment, protective clothing and ventilators for hospitals.
FNB will waiver Speedpoint device rentals and not charge a minimum fee for some merchants who are in good standing but operate in distressed industries.
In April, individual and business customers on FNB Connect will also receive 1 GB of free data to help them stay connected during the lockdown.
“We are also working with industry partners to ensure that customers can use any bank’s ATMs without paying additional fees over and above the fees charged by their bank.”
Moreover, FNB has opened an FNB bank account to facilitate financial contributions, and Celliers called on all of the bank’s internal and external stakeholders to donate in support of the National Solidarity Fund.