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Gibraltar’s banks offer support for financial impact of coronavirus

Local banks yesterday announced emergency measures to support the local community in the event of a financial impact of coronavirus both on businesses and individuals.

Jyske Bank, NatWest International and Gibraltar International Bank urged customers to contact the bank as early as possible to discuss any support plans in the event of any disruption.

Jyske Bank said there is anecdotal evidence that suggests Gibraltar has already seen a drop in the number of visitors brought about by travel restrictions, quarantines and concerns around falls in the global financial markets.

And the bank recognise that this could have a negative impact on local businesses and individuals.

For their part, Jyske Bank said it will continue to offer its support to the Gibraltar community.

“During these challenging times, it is vital that clients maintain a close relationship with the bank,” Jyske Bank said in a statement.

The bank is asking the client to contact their relationship manager if they have a loss of income due to non-attendance at work, which will particularly impact self-employed individuals; a decrease in business sales due to lower customer numbers or having to close their business due to illness; cancellations of bookings, reservations or orders; inability to receive goods from suppliers and that cash flow projections indicate deficits.

Jyske Bank is requesting that clients “proactively assess” what the impact the current disruption may have on their clients’ personal and business finances, and asked them to get in touch with their relationship manager either on email or over the phone to reduce the risk of contagion.

“Jyske Bank will prioritise clients that anticipate financial difficulties and assist in way we can,” a statement from the bank read.

Meanwhile Gibraltar International Bank said it recognises the concerns currently being experienced in Gibraltar regarding to Covid-19 and said it will offer support to its customers should the circumstances cause disruption to their personal or business affairs in these challenging times.

“Gibraltar International Bank encourages its personal and business customers to contact the bank if they have any coronavirus related concerns with their personal and/or business finances in order to determine in what way the bank may be able to provide support,” a spokesman for Gibraltar International Bank said.

“The bank will consider each customer’s position on a case by case basis.”

NatWest International said it recognises that cashflow of small and medium-sized businesses may be disrupted by coronavirus and it is “committed to supporting viable businesses in continuing to trade while they implement their contingency plans”.

Local business and commercial customers are being encouraged to contact the bank as early as possible for support in the coming weeks.

This includes proactive outreach to business customers who may be experiencing short-term trading issues due to coronavirus; relationship managers will speak to business customers and offer help and support as they form plans to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

NatWest will also grant new or increased working capital facilities to support trading businesses; up to six month capital repayment holiday on variable lending; temporary emergency loans with no fees and the bank will work with the Government to “understand the evolving impacts and appropriately support local businesses”.

The bank has also provided measures for its personal banking customers who may worry about the effect of coronavirus on their finances, in a possible scenario where there is a drop in income or because of unexpected expenses or bills to pay.

“We are ready and able to offer support to customers who are impacted directly or indirectly by coronavirus, which could include offering or increasing an overdraft or allowing repayment relief for loan or mortgage repayments,” the bank said.

“Asking for help early is key.”

In addition, the bank will offer proactive support to local personal customers if they may be facing financial difficulty from impacts of the virus either in branch or over the phone.

NatWest International clients will be able to defer mortgage and loan repayments for up to three months; temporary emergency funding with no fees and an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500.