Banks offer relief to 230,700 pandemic-hit borrowers in HCM City

Friday, Jul 03, 2020 15:08

Customers at an Agribank office in HCM City. — Photo Agribank

Banks in HCM City had slashed interest rates, extended debt repayment deadlines, and maintained debt classifications for businesses hurt by the COVID-19 on the total loans worth more than VND384.6 trillion (US$16.53 billion) as of June 29.

About 230,700 borrowers have so far benefited from these policies which were adopted in response to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV)’s Circular No.1/2020-TT-NHNN on offering financial relief to pandemic-hit companies, SBV HCM City Branch Deputy Director Nguyen Hoang Minh told a conference in the city on Thursday.

The event was co-organised by the SBV branch in HCM City and the municipal Department of Industry and Trade to help firms restore and expand business and production.

Minh said interest rates have been cut for loans worth over VND49.97 trillion of nearly 17,420 borrowers and new soft loans worth of more than VND270.42 trillion offered to over 44,600 pandemic-hit customers.

“As many as 168,670 borrowers have had their debt payoff plan extended,” Minh said.

Speaking at the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen highly appreciated the local lenders’ aid for businesses since many of those are struggling to cushion the blow from the coronavirus.

SBV Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu vowed that the banking sector will continue working with HCM City to support firms to tackle challenges and recover from the pandemic.

The SBV will maintain a flexible monetary policy as well as stable interest rates and foreign exchanges in the future, he continued, urging local lenders to improve their digital platforms and services to enable their customers to save time and cut costs.

Representatives from the 16 banks in the city signed an agreement to postpone debt repayment plans and reduce interest rates for over 17,000 local enterprises, mostly small- and medium-sized, affected by the pandemic with total loans of more than VND87 trillion.

The central bank in early March issued Circular No 1, guiding credit institutions to reschedule debt payment plans, waive or reduce lending rates and fees for loans and offer new soft loans to projects and enterprises that need further capital to maintain or resume their operations amid the social distancing period to stem the spread of the coronavirus. — VNS

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