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Getting financial support if you’re affected by coronavirus

Experiencing coronavirus financial hardship? Find out what support our major banks are offering to personal and business customers.

With the economic impact of COVID-19 being felt by Singapore residents across the country, you may be wondering what help is available. The situation is still unfolding but banks in Singapore are already adhering to the newly imposed measures and showing financial support to their customers during this uncertain time.

Below you will find what measures our major banks have in place in case you suffer financial hardship as a result of the global pandemic. Do note that these initiatives are subject to change but we will make updates as soon as we have them.

MAS and Financial Industry Support Measures for Individuals and SMEs Affected by Covid-19

On 31 March 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced a Special Financial Relief Programme (SFRP) to ease financial pressure amid the COVID-19 situation in Singapore.

These are the 3 main facilities that all banks in Singapore will be providing:

  • Defer repayment of residential property loans
  • Lower interest on personal unsecured credit
  • Defer payment of principal on secured SME term loans

On top of these mandatory relief measures, some banks are also offering extra support to help their customers through this uncertain and trying period which we’ll be covering below. This SFRP will be available from 6 April 2020 to 31 December 2020. For more information, please view the MAS and Financial Industry Support Measures.

DBS

To help individuals ease financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic, DBS has implemented a range of initiatives:

Personal customers

  • Credit cards and unsecured loans relief. With the DBS/POSB Loan Assist term loan, you may convert the balances on your credit cards and cashline into more manageable instalments over a new tenure (up to 5 years) at lowered interest rates of 4.25% p.a. (EIR ranging from 7.75% to 7.96%). There’s also no early repayment penalty, so you’d be able to settle the loan anytime when you’re financially comfortable to do so. However, this option is only available to Singaporeans and PRs who suffered an income loss of at least 25% after 1 February 2020.
  • Home loan payment relief. Apply to defer your home loan monthly instalment, either principal payment only, or both principal and interest payment until December 2020 to push back your loan payments without incurring late payment interest, penalties and keep your Credit Bureau records in the green. During the deferment period, interest will still continue to accrue on the principal amount.
  • Insurance relief. If you have any queries on your existing insurance you’ve purchased through DBS, you may find the contact information of the various insurers such as AIA, Aviva, Chubb, Direct Asia, Manulife and more on their website.
  • Complimentary COVID-19 coverage for Manulife policyholders. All new or existing Manulife policyholders are entitled to complimentary COVID-19 coverage, which provides benefits such as $1,500 payout upon diagnosis of COVID-19, $2,000 payout for at least 5 days of hospitalisation for confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and $30,000 death benefit from COVID-19 infection.
  • COVID-19 Hospital Cash Free Insurance coverage (Sign-ups closed on 31 March 2020). All DBS/POSB customers who signed up for this complimentary cover for themselves and immediate family members will benefit from $100 per day of hospitalisation due to COVID-19 (up to 14 days) and $1,000 payout in the event of ICU stay due to the virus.

Business customers

  • Deferment of principal payments on secured SME loans. DBS Customers may apply to defer principal payments on their secured terms loans up to 31 December 2020 as well as extend tenure of their loans.
  • Digital business loan. Access up to $200,000 funding as part of the new relief assistance.
  • F&B digital relief package. Assistance programme to help DBS SME customers create new online revenue streams through an e-commerce site or digital marketing.
  • Extension of import facilities of up to 60 days. To provide customers with supply chain disruptions, DBS will contact customers with existing Letters of Credit and Trust Receipts to process the extension. These customers will be notified of the interest payable on the initial due date, and the interest and principal payable on the extended due date.
  • Export trade fee rebates. To help cut down on operating costs, DBS customers will automatically receive a S$10 courier fee rebate upon submission of export documents. You’re also entitled to an additional $30 Letter of Credit (LC) advising fee rebate when you submit documents for LC Negotiation / Discounting from now till 30 June 2020.
  • FAST/PayNow Transaction fee rebate. To reduce the handling of physical cash and cheques especially during this circuit-breaker period, customers can enjoy 50 free monthly transactions instead of 30 from now till Jul 2020. PayNow look up fee of S$0.20 is also waived till 31 Dec 2021.
  • Additional $1million protection coverage by Manulife. Existing customers will receive enhanced protection against business disruption. Benefits include a one-time cash benefit of $1,500 for customers who are diagnosed with COVID-19, extra $2,000 hospitalisation income for a minimum of 5 days stay due to a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and an additional $30,000 death benefit if the loss of life was a result of COVID-19.
  • Exclusive COVID-19 cover by Chubb. Complimentary policy extension to cover business disruptions on existing and new Work Injury Compensation purchase for your employees.

If you’re concerned about your financial wellbeing and are being affected by the COVID-19 situation, you may get in touch with DBS by phone or online.

Learn more about DBS’s response and contact them

OCBC

To help individuals through the COVID-19 outbreak, OCBC has launched the following relief measures:

Personal customers

  • Lowered minimum repayment for credit cards. From April to October 2020, the minimum repayment for credit cards is reduced to 1% of the statement balance – or $50 whichever is higher.
  • Defer repayment of residential property loans. Home loan customers may opt to defer either their principal payment, or both principal and interest payments up to 31 December 2020. Interest will accrue only on the deferred principal amount.
  • Lower interest on personal unsecured credit. Customers that lost at least a quarter of their monthly income after 1 February 2020 may apply to convert their outstanding balances to term loans at a reduced interest rate capped at 8%. Depending on your ability to meet the minimum monthly repayment, you may choose up to 5 years tenure for the newly converted term

    Business customers

    • Collateral-free temporary bridging loan. Businesses may apply up to $5 million funding with this government-assisted loan to tide through this difficult period. Enjoy flexible tenure from 1 to 5 years at lower interest rates, as well as no principal payment for the first 12 months.
    • Working capital financing. Borrow up to $1 million at lower interest rates with this collateral-free business loan.
    • Deferment of principal payments on secured SME loans. Companies unable to stay afloat or settle their loan payments due to COVID-19 may apply for a deferment of their business loan principal payments until 31 December 2020.

    Find out more on the digital support measures offered by OCBC by phone or online.

    Learn more about OCBC’s response and contact them

    UOB

    Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for:

    Personal customers

    • Defer repayment of residential property loans. You may opt to defer both principal and interest payments for your UOB property loan up to 31 December 2020. Interest will only accrue only on the deferred principal amount and monthly instalment will resume from January 2021.
    • Lower interest on personal unsecured credit. If your monthly income has been affected and reduced by at least 25% after 1 February 2020 as a result of COVID-19, you may convert your outstanding unsecured loan balances from your UOB credit card or UOB Cashplus account to a new term loan from 6 April to 31 December 2020. The maximum tenure for the new loan is 5 years and it comes with a capped EIR of 8%.

      Business customers

      For corporate banking customers, you may apply for government-assisted financing schemes, such as deferment of principal on secured SME loans and lower interest on business loans. UOB also claimed that it has allocated $3 billion in relief assistance to help its customers cushion the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

      Learn more about UOB’s response and contact them

      Maybank

      Both personal and business customers that are being affected financially by the pandemic may be able to take advantage of one of Maybank’s support options. These include:

      Personal customers

      • Home loan repayment relief. Home loan customers may opt to defer either their principal payment, or both principal and interest payments up to 31 December 2020. Interest will accrue only on the deferred principal amount.
      • Credit card and CreditAble repayment credit. Customers who experienced a drop in income of 25% or more after 1 February 2020 may apply to convert their outstanding balances to term loans at a reduced EIR of 8%. The available loan tenure is up to 5 years. Monthly instalment is capped at 3% of the total loan amount and there’ll be no early repayment penalty. However, do note that all your unsecured credit facilities with the bank will be suspended until you’ve made full repayment of the term loan.

        Business customers

        • SME working capital loan. To provide greater financing support for SMEs, the maximum loan quantum is raised to $1 million. Eligible enterprises may also apply for up to one-year deferral of principal repayment.
        • Temporary bridging loan programme. From 1st April 2020, eligible enterprises may borrow up to $5 million to sustain cashflow during this difficult time. Interest rate capped at 5% p.a.

        Learn more about Maybank’s response and contact them

        Citibank

        Citibank announces several relief measures and initiatives to help customers and businesses through this trying period:

        Personal customers

        • Complimentary coverage against COVID-19 from AIA. Eligible clients will automatically benefit from complimentary insurance that covers $1,000 hospitalisation income and $25,000 death benefit against COVID-19. Coverage period from now till 31 Dec 2020, or 30 days after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level turned green – whichever is earlier. T&Cs apply.
        • Teleconsultations and insurance benefits. Eligible clients can now benefit from AIA’s complimentary insurance cover and see a doctor from home via 10 teleconsultations (excludes medication and delivery cost). Applications are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis only.
        • Defer repayment of residential property loans. Defer either your principal payment, or both principal and interest payments for your Citibank property loan up to 31 December 2020. Interest will only accrue only on the deferred principal amount.
        • Lower interest on personal unsecured credit. If your monthly income has been affected by COVID-19 and dipped by at least 25% after 1 February 2020, you may convert your outstanding unsecured loan balances from your Citibank credit card or Ready Credit account to a new term loan of up to 5 years with EIR of 8% p.a. from 6 April to 31 December 2020.

            Business customers

            • Relief measures for CitiBusiness (SME) customers. Citibank offers relief measures such as late fee waivers and deferral of principal to help support the cashflow and ease financial difficulties faced by existing customers.
            • Relief measures for Citi Commercial Bank (SME) customers. SMEs with secured term loans may apply to defer payment of the principal.

            Learn more about Citibank’s response and contact them

            Standard Chartered Bank

            Standard Chartered Bank is providing the following support measures for customers experiencing financial hardship:

            Personal customers

            • Complimentary coverage against COVID-19 from AIA. Eligible clients will automatically benefit from complimentary insurance that covers $1,000 hospitalisation income and $25,000 death benefit against COVID-19. Coverage period from now till 31 Dec 2020, or 30 days after the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level turned green – whichever is earlier. T&Cs apply.
            • Teleconsultations and insurance benefits. Eligible clients can now benefit from AIA’s complimentary insurance cover and see a doctor from home via 10 teleconsultations (excludes medication and delivery cost). Applications are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis only.
            • Defer repayment of residential property loans. Defer either your principal payment, or both principal and interest payments for your Citibank property loan up to 31 December 2020. Interest will only accrue only on the deferred principal amount.
            • Lower interest on personal unsecured credit. If your monthly income has been affected by COVID-19 and dipped by at least 25% after 1 February 2020, you may convert your outstanding unsecured loan balances from your Citibank credit card or Ready Credit account to a new term loan of up to 5 years with EIR of 8% p.a. from 6 April to 31 December 2020.

                Business customers

                • Relief measures for CitiBusiness (SME) customers. Citibank offers relief measures such as late fee waivers and deferral of principal to help support the cashflow and ease financial difficulties faced by existing customers.
                • Relief measures for Citi Commercial Bank (SME) customers. SMEs with secured term loans may apply to defer payment of the principal.

                Learn more about Standard Chartered Bank’s response and contact them

                Other financial support

                In less than two months, the Singapore government have released three budgets (termed as Unity, Resilience and Solidarity), totalling $60 billion to support households, workers and business through COVID-19 “circuit breaker” distancing measures and economic fallout.

                • $6.4 billion. Announced on Feb 18, Unity Budget was the first budget set aside to combat COVID-19 transmission.
                • $48.4 billion.The second and largest stimulus package, known the Resilience Budget was announced on March 26. This supplementary budget includes massive payouts, rebates, sector support and more.
                • $5.1 billion.On 6 April 2020, DPM Heng Swee Keat unveiled the Solidarity Budget to enhance the measures introduced and complement support in the two earlier budget.

                Read more about the other types of financial support and measures included in Singapore’s resilience budget.

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