Banks to extend moratorium

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Residents who are encountering financial difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic will get a further ease as commercial banks have agreed to extend the moratorium on
loans for up to a year.
This follows an agreement between the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the ECCU Bankers’ Association announced recently.
In a statement, both the ECCB and the Bankers’ Association disclosed that a careful review of the current circumstances in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was conducted leading to a revision of the support programme aimed to reduce the anxiety that some customers and residents continue to experience over the loss of income due to the
pandemic.
Earlier in the year, banks across the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union instituted a moratorium programme to assist customers who have experienced hardships due to the pandemic.
In Antigua and Barbuda, hundreds of individuals welcomed the programme
as they may have either lost their job or suffered a reduction in their income.
Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, said the government welcomes the decision by the ECCB and the banks to extend the programme. “Back in March we had called in the commercial banks as a government expressing to them our desire for them to offer these moratoria to their various customers, business and personal. “They responded. So between [hem], the ECCB and the ECCU Bankers Association have agreed to extend these moratoria to customers,” Browne reported.
With no improvement in the economic situation in these countries, however, the ECCB and the Bankers’ Association agreed to extend the moratorium for six months with the possibility of an additional extension of up to a year. Customers may request to restructure their loans at the end of the moratorium.