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COVID-19 Payment Relief with South African Banks

Major banks like FNB and Absa have set up payment holidays and relief schemes to assist clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All South African banks agree to address customer needs, as independent entities and as a group, in attempts to minimise economic hardship. All banks agree to: keep ATMs open, waive Saswitch penalty fees, only necessary branches remain open, and non-essential employees are to work from home. You can read the The Banking Association South Africa statement online. Understand your banks choices during these times, with the following breakdown:

Standard Bank has offered a number of relief initiatives for customers: They have set up a personal loan instalment relief for SME’s, as well as loans for customers earning less than R7500 a month. Banking holidays for students and businesses, and are automatically applied should you or your business qualify for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Payment Scheme. Read Standard Banks incentives in-depth on their website.

FNB’s CEO, Jacques Celliers, stated their plan of action: “Instalment cash flow relief, during which part or no instalments/repayments will be due for a specific period. A preferential interest rate will apply to the COVID-19 relief interventions given and no fees will be charged for any relief granted; assistance with processing credit insurance claims, where possible; individualised bridge facilities for those who need it.” 


In order to qualify for any relief, you will need to provide a written statement, as well as proof of loss of income . You can read their in-depth plan, published 30 March, online here.

ABSA has released a Payment Relief Programme. ABSA will assist eligible customers with relief, which includes: corporate, wealth, business bank, private bank and retail customers. “Absa campuses also have small and medium sized enterprises such as hairdressers, pharmacies, florists and coffee shops, among others as commercial tenants. In recognition of the role SME’s play in creating jobs and sustaining livelihoods, these businesses have been granted a rental holiday for the next three months,” as reassured on ABSA’s page.

Nedbank’s relief plan for individuals and small businesses includes: COVID-19 business rescue assistance (Known as COBRA), training layoff scheme, several relief funding/loan packages, and several other points. Read the full document online here to see if you or your business qualifies.

Capitec Bank and Investec have not yet responded to how their bankers can be assisted, follow their pages for updates here for Capitec and here for Investec.

Join our community group on Facebook to discuss these and other relief schemes with entrepreneurs just like you. 

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