MASERU – As part of ongoing responses to COVID-19, Standard Lesotho Bank has put in place debt relieve measures as proposed by Prime Minister Thomas Motsoahae Thabane and the Central Bank of Lesotho. Standard Bank has established personalised debt relief measures for its clients who are in good standing and have been directly impacted by COVID-19. The leading commercial bank will afford them payment holidays including deferment of payments or part-payment thereof for three months, extending existing loan periods and extending additional credit to manage short-term cash shortfalls for businesses.
In a press briefing, the bank said these relief measures will be extended only to individuals and businesses whose incomes have been directly affected by the pandemic. All other customers who continue to receive salaries as normal, such as government employees, security forces and teachers are expected to pay their loans as normal, the statement said. “Those that are affected by COVID-19 will have to produce evidence by way of a letter from their employers. For businesses, the bank has made available templates that can be accessed through relationship managers for lodging applications.
“Customers will have to sign for these amendments on their existing contracts and each request will be treated on a case by case basis,” reads the press statement. The bank noted the global concern on the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has given rise to many disruptions to normal business. “The lockdowns declared by both the governments of Lesotho and South Africa have also negatively affected personal and business finances in the country.
“In line with the debt relief measures proposed by the Honourable Prime Minister, Dr Motsoahae Thomas Thabane and The Central Bank of Lesotho, Standard Lesotho Bank has responded with a number of measures to help individuals and businesses that have been directly impacted by the pandemic with the intention to help ease the burden during these trying times. “Clients are encouraged to make arrangements through their Relationship Managers, Enterprise Direct, Prestige Direct or Customer Contact Centre on the contact details provided.
“Business clients and Private Banking Clients can speak directly to their dedicated relationship managers to access this relief,” the Bank added.
So far the country has no reported positive cases of COVID-19, however Lesotho has been in a lockdown since March 30 which is expected to come to an end by May 5.
Since the inception of the lockdown normal business operations have been stopped and only those that offer essential services are allowed to operate under stipulated time frames and following the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation’s guidelines to avoid the spread of COVID-19.