Some Malawian banks are still deducting money for loan repayments from customers despite the Reserve Bank of Malawi telling banks to provide a three-month moratorium on the repayments.
One of the country’s biggest commercial, National Bank, says it won’t stop deducting the money unless people’s salaries and business are affected directly by Covid-19.
In a statement on Thursday, the bank said it has started providing a moratorium on interest and principal repayments for loans by borrowers and this will be available to those that formally present their request to the bank.
The bank has also started restructuring loans for small and medium scale enterprises, corporate institutions and other borrowers
However, implementation of these interventions will be done on case by case basis
“For example some people are still employed and still receive the same salary. This means that they will still pay their loans normally. There might be other people who import items let’s say from South Africa to sell in Malawi and due to COVID-19 they cannot order their items anymore. This means that their businesses and income will be affected. These customers might be considered,” the bank said in a statement.
On April 9, the Reserve Bank of Malawi ordered all banks to implement the interventions in order to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on bank customers.
The central bank also told banks to reduce by fifty (50) percent fees and charges related to internet banking, mobile payments and any other related services in order to encourage usage of electronic payment transactions.