ECCB and ECCU support extension of loan / mortgage deferral program

By Theresa Goodwin

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The current moratorium on mortgages and loans, which was instituted earlier this year to ease the burden on residents who have encountered financial hardship as a direct result of the Covid-19 crisis, could be extended to another 12 months depending on the circumstances of the crisis. customer.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Eastern Caribbean Monetary Union (ECCU) Bankers Association issued a joint statement in support of the extension.

Regional institutions said in the statement that in the future, the loan repayment deferral program (moratorium) will be based on an assessment of the financial situation of clients.

At their sole discretion, banks in the ECCU region will consider extension requests up to a maximum period of 12 months from October 1, 2020. In addition to the deferral of loan repayments, a waiver of late fees will be applicable to eligible customers. during this period.

Each member bank will inform its customers of the details and process of the support program, however certain basic guidelines for granting the moratorium will apply. These include: banks will continuously monitor the customer’s situation during the given moratorium period; the terms and conditions of the granted moratorium will allow the bank, in consultation with the customer, to reduce the moratorium if the improvement in the customer’s situation justifies such action, ”the statement said.

It was also noted that banks will assess and discuss with customers, when organizing the extension, options for restructuring the loan at the end of the moratorium, including the treatment of accrued interest.

Households whose income has been negatively impacted will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis as well as all business owners whose income has been negatively impacted.

The ECCU and ECCU have also encouraged customers needing assistance to contact their financial institutions directly for more information, as the processes may differ.

The joint statement comes weeks after Prime Minister Gaston Browne hinted that he would contact various financial institutions on the island to discuss a possible extension of the postponement program.

Priscilla C. Carnegie