Indian Bank, Union Bank Launch Emergency Credit Line Amid Covid-19 Outbreak
A customer stands outside a Union Bank of India Ltd. branch in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Indian Bank, Union Bank Launch Emergency Credit Line Amid Covid-19 Outbreak

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To help people and businesses affected by coronavirus outbreak, state-owned lenders, including Indian Bank and Union Bank of India, on Wednesday announced the launch of special emergency loan products like personal loans and soft loans for self help group members.

"In these challenging times, the bank is committed to stand by its customers. Keeping in view the hardships faced by various sectors of the economy, we have launched products to take care of immediate liquidity requirement of businesses and retail customers," Indian Bank managing director Padmaja Chunduru told PTI.

Besides, the bank has taken steps to ensure the safety of its staff and uninterrupted banking services to customers.

"In wake of #coronavirus outbreak, #UnionBankofIndia unstintingly supports all its existing customers with the launch of Covid Emergency Line of Credit which provides additional credit facilities to tide over liquidity issues," Union Bank of India said in a tweet.

Another state-run lender Bank of India announced an emergency line of credit for borrowers.

More banks to follow suit and announce special emergency credit line in days to come.

Last week, the country's largest lender State Bank of India also announced an emergency credit line to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers.

Also read: SBI To Open Special Loan Facility For Small Businesses Hurt By Coronavirus Outbreak

The IND-COVID Emergency Credit Line for large corporates will provide additional funding of up to 10 percent of the Working Capital Limits with a maximum limit of Rs 100 crore, Chunduru said.

Large corporates and medium enterprises that are in the standard category would be eligible for this loan, she said, adding the loan tenor will be for 36 months with an initial moratorium of up to six months and would carry fixed interest rate of one year MCLR.

For the MSME sector, Chunduru said, IND-MSE COVID Emergency Loan is aimed at providing additional funding of 10 percent of fund based working capital limits with max Rs 50 lakh.

These will have a tenure of up to 60 months and there will not be any processing fee.

To support the women workforce, the bank has launched the SHG-COVID - SAHAYA LOAN. Under this, each member can avail a soft loan of Rs 5,000 up to maximum of Rs 1 lakh per SHG. The loan is for 36 months with six months moratorium.

Indian Bank is servicing 1.68 lakh SHGs with more than 22 lakh women beneficiaries and the product will help them tide over the crisis, she said.

For salaried class, the bank has designed IND-COVID Emergency Salary Loan under which one can avail loan up to an amount equivalent to 20 times latest monthly gross salary subject to max of Rs 2 lakhs.

Available at concessional rate, this will help meet urgent medical and other expenditure, she said.

Also read: Axis Bank Awaits ‘Structured, Seamless’ Restructuring Package Amid Lockdown

"We expect that these credit lines will meet the immediate liquidity requirements of businesses. SHGs has always been an important part of our business and with our initiatives we ensure that the group gets all the desired support for financial independence," Chunduru said.

"We have made these loans repayable over a longer period to give them the flexibility in operations until the business is back on track again. With salaried class and the pensioners, it is more a line to meet their immediate requirements," she said.

Talking about efforts made by the bank to keep its staff safe, Chunduru said the bank is deploying 50 percent staff on alternate basis.

Also read: Cabinet Approves Rs 670 Crore Recapitalisation Of Regional Rural Banks

Besides, she said, masks, senitizers are being ensured and a helpline number manned by a team of doctors has been started for staff and their families to address the query related with the disease.

She said, the bank is also identifying non-critical roles would be identified to enable implementation of the work-from-home policy.

The bank is also dissuading its customers not to visit bank branches and do transaction through Digital Banking Services in order to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

The bank is promoting digital payments such as mobile banking, internet banking, debit and credit cards instead of using cash which may require them to go to crowded places for paying bills.

To familiarise people about digital payment methods, she said, the bank has designed videos which inform customers about step by step use.

For pensioners, she said, the bank is taking extra effort to provide cash at their doorstep as these people are more prone to virus attack.

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