Tanzania: NMB Offers Debt Relief to Ease Customers' Burden Amid COVID-19

NMB Bank Plc has announced relief measures to its personal, micro, small and medium enterprise clients and to corporate customers whose income and cash flows have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is bank's effort to offer financial reprieve to sectors that may have been directly or indirectly impacted by the economic consequences of Covid-19.

A total of 412 SME/ MSME Customers have already received the muchneeded relief packages from NMB Bank ranging from payment holidays to extension of loan repayment periods to help them cushion the impact of Covid-19 on their businesses.

NMB Bank Acting Managing Director, Ruth Zaipuna, said the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on both individuals and businesses is relatively small compared to countries that went to partial or complete lockdowns, but nevertheless, actions by other countries may have impacted global supply chains and hence impacting some of bank clients.

"As a bank, we recognize that this is a difficult time for some of our customers and businesses whose financial means are being negatively affected. After careful consideration, the various measures we are implementing are proportionate to the economic impact of these entities and individuals. Today, we continue to remind our clients of the need to continue engagements with the bank in order to access and take appropriate interventions where justified," Ms Zaipuna said.

"We intend to provide relief on a case by case basis, as we know, not all businesses and individuals are affected equally. The focus is on those areas severely impacted by Covid- 19," she added.

"We would like to assure our customers that they are not alone on this journey. Our doors are open and we are ready to assist them during these uncertain times and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Our focus has always been to ensure our country's economic growth.

One way we can do this is by making sure our customers growth is not slowed and for us easing their burden in the midterm. We will also continue to strengthen our financial literacy programmes through tailor made webinars, business coaching as well as providing investment advisory services throughout our client engagements," she noted.

The Bank has also amplified alternative digital channels for improving customer experience during this time to ensure safer transactions without necessitating physical visits to branches.

In particular, the NMB Mkononi and Internet Banking platforms now support increased thresholds on daily limits to support usage and convenience to customers.

" The measures are a testament to our commitment to finding real, customer-focused solutions, in a time of uncertainty," said Zaipuna.

"We also urge our customers who are in a position to continue making their loan repayments, to do so. This will go a long way towards enabling us to extend these measures to many more who are not in a similar position," she concluded.

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