Absa
From L: Absa Group CEO Daniel Mmniele, Absa Kenya M Jeremy Awori & NSE CEO Geofrey Odundo during ticker change oover from BBK to ABSA at the NSE headquarters in Nairobi

It is during trying times that leaders emerge.

As the government continues to battle a rampaging virus that is currently obliterating the nation’s economy, a list of organizations are emerging as leaders during these chaotic times.

Banks, for instance, are seen as potentially part of the solution to cushion the ordinary Kenyan from horrible impacts of COVID-19. In the last two weeks alone, Absa bank has restructured customer loans in excess of Ksh 8 Billion.

The lender said that this move was part of a larger relief plan that will allow customers to defer their personal loans, mortgages, asset finance and even business loans for up to 12 months.

Borrowers seeking the loan relief will first need to send through their national identification numbers (ID) to USSD 22268 before the 23rd of April. Customers whose loans have been obtained through their employers have been advised to take it up with HR or their relationship managers within the bank.

Absa says that assessments will be merit-based and that customers will not incur any extra fees as a result of the relief.

For most small and medium businesses in the country, the pandemic means that earnings are next to nothing and hefty losses could be around the corner.

It is clear that when pushed, societies have prioritized health first and foremost, and then looked to deal with the economic consequences later. When all this is over, companies may be judged by how they treated their employees, suppliers, and customers, by who shared and who hoarded.

Banks are now coming out to lend a helping hand with various customer support schemes.

Strong balance sheets are giving big banks an upper hand in the war against COVID-19. But with the economy at a near-halt for an indeterminate period, loan losses could be bigger this time.

Absa’s boss Mr. Jeremy Awori says that the lender will continue monitoring the situation as it evolves and will adjust its offerings to ease the financial pain that customers may go through.

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