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RAKBANK Outlines Measures To Support All Stakeholders Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic (24 March 2020)

The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK) today announced further plans to provide financial relief to individuals, SMEs, and corporates impacted by the economic consequences of the coronavirus, also known as the COVID-19.

Effective immediately, RAKBANK made a commitment to work with individual customers, SMEs and large corporates on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19 or those customers facing illness from the virus.

For individual customers the Bank will provide payment deferrals of up to 3 months on auto loans and personal loans for COVID-19 impacted salaried and self-employed individuals without any charges. In addition, credit cardholders will be given a choice to defer card payments for one month without any deferral charges.

Also, the Bank will provide Customers with an option to convert education and electronic spends on their conventional credit cards into an Easy Payment Plan (EPP) option at 0% interest rate and zero processing fee for up to 24 months. The EPP solution provides parents with the technological tools to meet their children’s e-learning needs throughout their educational journey and helps individuals to work from home, allowing them to purchase laptops and tablets, and better manage their cash flow in uncertain times. With schools being hard to reach at the moment, we advise parents to conduct all school-related payments digitally through RAKBANK’s Skiply App for those school that use this platform.

Small to medium sized business owners facing hardship due to the public’s precautionary spending and reduced economic activities and aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak are encouraged to contact the Bank and discuss options for financial relief that could be available for them. This includes reducing RAKBANK’s SME Prime lending rate and offering payment relief to customers availing business loans or asset backed loans up to a period of 6 months for businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 without any additional fees incurred or penalty interest charged.

RAKBANK established a direct helpline to assist its Business Banking customers in these challenging times or urge them to directly contact their Relationship Manager for further assistance. It is important to note that Trade Finance solutions and Real Estate financing for the Bank’s Business Banking customers will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and necessary assistance will be provided.

The Bank will be waiving off local transfer charges conducted via the Digital Banking app or the ATMs and Electronic Deposit Machines (EDMs). RAKBANK is also offering a onetime discount of up to 50% on overdue transaction fees as well as discounts on trade finance services done via the Bank’s Digital Banking. Lastly, RAKBANK is offering RAKstarter zero balance current account to start-ups and new entrepreneurs.

RAKBANK is urging all customers, especially SMEs, to take their business online with several options to efficiently run their operations successfully and not have any health implications on the surrounding environment. RAKBANK Simplify instantly transforms businesses onto a web platform. The Simplify platform’s monthly fee will be waived off for the next 3 months to businesses that offer essential services like delivery of medicines, groceries and other related services. The RAKBANK Simplify Commerce service allows merchants to generate and send secure payment links to customers to collect payments online, thereby encouraging social distancing.

Wholesale Banking customers that are directly impacted due to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their Relationship Managers at RAKBANK to discuss any concerns they might have, and potential options and solutions that will help them overcome the current circumstances.

Peter England, Chief Executive Officer at RAKBANK, said:

“We are continuously monitoring the developments of the coronavirus and are always prepared to support our customers facing financial hardship or loss of income due to the COVID-19’s economic impact on individuals, SMEs and corporates, including elimination or reduction of many fees. These measures are an important first step and underscore the resilience of UAE's financial system and the strength of our regulators. RAKBANK will monitor evolving conditions and consider more actions as necessary. The public’s safety is a top priority at RAKBANK.”

For customers, we recommend replacing visits to RAKBANK branches with alternative channels available to use remotely at their convenience. Alternative channels include ATMs and EDMs and RAKBANK’s Digital Banking app. In addition, customers can contact Bank representatives through the web chat services available via the website and Digital Banking app or directly call the Bank’s contact centre.

With RAKBANK’s Digital Banking platforms, customers can access a variety of banking services that can be completed in just a few simple clicks. In case customers still need to visit the Bank’s branches or use ATMs / EDMs, they are being sanitized regularly and hand sanitizers are available.

RAKBANK is taking necessary measures internally to protect its staff against the virus. Regular communications are being circulated to employees at all levels regarding tips and precautions that can be taken as preventative measures against the coronavirus outbreak and have installed Thermal Scanners at the Bank’s headquarters.

Furthermore, the Bank has adopted a social distancing method through which front-facing staff at all branches, centres as well as headquarters are not to leave their place of work for meetings, whether it is internal or with external vendors. Currently, RAKBANK started setting up arrangements for a large number of staff (depending on the need) to work from home.

RAKBANK continues to monitor and adapt its approach with the ultimate aim to better protect all stakeholders dealing with the Bank on a regular basis.

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