Namibia: Bankers Association Explains Funding Relief By Banks

The Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) has provided further clarity to customers on the case-by-case funding relief, which is handled according to each bank's respective rules. "It is important to clarify that monthly payments will not be waived altogether but will only be moved out for a limited period of time," said Sarel van Zyl, current chairperson of BAN.

While all commercial banks in Namibia are more than willing to provide help and relief, Van Zyl emphasised that customers and companies still need to be in good standing and comply with other relevant financial terms.

"As with any loan, each bank has its set rules and regulations, and customers who have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore require a loan or payment relief, as a result, should approach their respective bank to work out the terms and find a solution that is beneficial to all," advised Van Zyl. He continued that ideally, people who are not impacted financially by the pandemic should continue paying their debt and avoid incurring extra debt, as this might lead to a more compromised situation afterwards. Said Van Zyl: "If at all possible, while still receiving your full salary or other income, continue to pay your home loan and car loan and any other debt to avoid the accumulation of debt, thereby aiming to save where possible". Regarding businesses that are currently closed and not receiving an income, Van Zyl advised that these companies should contact their respective banks and consult with them about specific solutions available going forward. "Banks are evaluating case-by-case applications where we can be of assistance," he said.

Van Zyl reiterated that BAN member banks will remain open to accommodate critical services such as deposits, withdrawals and transfers. Branches, ATMs and all other electronic transactions will remain available.

"Customers are encouraged to make use of the numerous electronic service channels available from all commercial banks and avoid the long queues in branches and at ATMs, and reduce the use of cash as far as possible to help stop the spread of Covid-19", Van Zyl concluded.

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