Thu, Feb 13, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Banks help virus-affected customers

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Several state-run banks are offering debt relief programs to help customers weather the effects of an outbreak of COVID-19.

Taiwan Cooperative Bank (合作金庫銀行), the nation’s largest lender by number of branches, yesterday said that it had set aside NT$10 billion (US$333 million) for a special program to help corporate and retail customers affected by the epidemic.

The virus has played havoc on the nation’s tourism, transportation, retail and hospitality sectors as global authorities put in place travel restrictions to prevent its spread.

Taiwan Cooperative said that it would also push back payments by up to three months for customers who are quarantined in their homes or stranded abroad and unable to honor their debt obligations.

There would be no fines or additional interest charges in those cases, the bank said.

Land Bank of Taiwan (土地銀行) said that it would allow small and medium-sized enterprises to take out loans of up to NT$1 million each to alleviate cash strains due to the outbreak.

Land Bank, the nation’s largest mortgage operator, said that it would grant favorable interest rates and forgo application fees for transactions under the relief program.

Payments on existing loans could be extended by three months as long as firms and individuals can document the link between their financial difficulty and the epidemic, it said.

Mega International Commercial Bank (兆豐銀行), another state-run lender focused on international financing, said that it would provide corporate customers low-interest rate loans for up to three years.

Customers can apply for loans over the Internet, the lender said.

It said it would not fine customers for delayed credit card payments caused by the outbreak.

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