|01 April, 2020

COVID 19: How Dubai banks can make your life, businesses easier this April

These measures implemented  by Emirates NBD, Mashreq, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank, and Emirates Islamic will be available from 1 April to 30 June, 2020

Image used for illustrative purpose. A customer makes a transaction at Emirates Bank in Dubai March 7, 2007.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A customer makes a transaction at Emirates Bank in Dubai March 7, 2007.

REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Emirates NBD, Dubai Islamic Bank, Emirates Islamic Bank, Mashreq Bank and Commercial Bank of Dubai have rolled out a series of measures to help customers cope with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The measures announced by the banks will support the UAE Government and the UAE Central Bank’s six-month economic stimulus package and the Dubai Government’s three-month economic stimulus package to assist business sectors in the UAE and Dubai.

They will be in effect from 1 April to 30 June, 2020.

The following are the measures taken by Emirates NBD, Mashreq and Commercial Bank of Dubai.

For Individual customers:

  • Retail loan customers who have been placed on unpaid leave by their employers can seek a repayment holiday of up to three months with zero  interest and fees
  • Customers who have availed personal loans, auto loans or mortgages can apply for a one-month repayment holiday with zero fees
  • First-time home buyers can seek a 5 percent increase in the loan-to-value ratio (LTV) and full waiver of processing fees.
  • A refund of charges on cash withdrawals using debit cards on all ATMs of other banks across the UAE
  • Credit card customers can benefit from interest-free installment plans for all school fee payments as well as grocery purchases with no processing fees for up to 6 months.  This is in addition to existing attractive low interest, installment plans available for higher tenors across all retail purchases.
  • Customers who may need to cancel their travel bookings done on their credit and debit cards will receive a refund of the foreign currency transaction fees charged by the bank.
  • Customers using credit cards for cash withdrawals will enjoy 50 percent reduction in the cash advance charges.

For Small Business Customers:

  • Small business customers who have availed merchant loans, equipment loans or business vehicle loans and have been impacted by the ongoing situation, can apply for a repayment holiday of three months with zero interest and fees
  • Reduction of the monthly minimum balance required for basic business banking account to AED 10,000. Also, the minimum balance charges for the basic business banking account will be waived for a period of three months.

For Business Banking Customers

Business banking customers with working capital facilities who have been affected by the ongoing Covid 19 situation may contact their respective relationship managers to seek an optimal financial solution.

For Wholesale Banking Clients

The banks are offering refinancing, repayment deferrals or lower repayments where required to key industry sectors like healthcare, aviation, hospitality, retail, event management, consumer goods and education.

Banks will reduce charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance customers. Customers using the digital platforms are offered a significant reduction in transaction processing and handling fees and new activations at zero cost for the next three months.

The banks are also providing their customers with enhanced credit and trade lines to manage ongoing operational costs.

For Stock Trading Clients

The banks have announced support for affected customers trading on the UAE bourses by offering suitable instalment payment plans against additional collateral to help them regularise their margin trading positions.

The following are the measures taken by Islamic Banks – Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates Islamic Bank.

For Individual Customers and Cardholders:

  • Customers who have availed personal finance, auto finance or mortgages can apply for a one-month repayment holiday with zero fees
  • Debit cardholders can now withdraw cash for free from any other banks’ ATMs in the UAE
  • Customers using credit cards for cash withdrawals will enjoy 50 percent reduction in the cash advance charges
  • Credit cardholders can avail zero percent Easy Payment Plans (EPP) on school fee transactions with zero processing fee
  • Credit Cardholders can benefit from special pricing on EPP and cash on call, and zero percent on balance transfers
  • Cardholders can request refunds on foreign currency charges related to travel/hotel cancellations

For Customers with Existing and New Finance Facilities:

Customers who have been impacted due to unpaid leave, or other valid reasons can request up to three deferred monthly installments without fees and profit charges.

They may seek debt consolidation solutions.

Finance to property value for first-time home buyers has been increased by 5 percent (up to 85 percent for UAE Nationals and up to 80 percent for expatriates). 

For Priority Banking Customers:

Margin calls for customers trading on stock market: The two Islamic banks will support those who are faced with margin calls on their shares portfolio. They may call their relationship managers to discuss solutions.

Business Banking Customers:

  • Digital Account Package: Waiver of minimum balance fee for maintaining a minimum balance requirement of AED 10,000, until 30 June 2020.
  • Deferment of three months instalment upon request for clients with a Business finance facility.
  • Commercial Banking customers with finance facilities from the two Islamic banks and whose businesses are affected by the current situation can contact their relationship managers to discuss restructuring solutions.
  • Customers can benefit from all the advanced features of the two banks’ digital platforms at discounted rates.

Wholesale Banking customers:

Customers with working capital facilities who are impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 situation may contact their respective relationship managers to seek solutions.

Relief measures will support key sectors affected by the Covid 19 situation by offering need-based refinancing, repayment deferrals or lower repayments where required.

Reduced charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance customers.

Customers using the digital platforms can get a significant reduction in transaction processing and handling fees and new digital platforms activations at zero cost for the next three months.

Customers will also be encouraged to use the two banks’ digital platforms for their cash management needs at considerably reduced charges.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha, editing by Seban Scaria)

(seban.scaria@refinitiv.com)

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