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Reserve Bank of Malawi, banks agree on new moratorium

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NKUNA— We reached an agreement

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), commercial banks and telecommunication companies have reached an agreement for the financial players to extend a moratorium on services up to December this year.

This means that the players will maintain cushioning measures employed on loan repayment and restructure existing ones to cushion the business community and the citizenry from the economic impact of Covid-19.

In April this year, commercial banks led by the Central bank provided a three months moratorium on loan repayment to clients which came to an end in July.

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RBM Spokesperson, Onellie Nkuna, said they engaged the players to consider increasing the period to December this year.

“With regard to mobile network operators, so far an agreement has been reached with Airtel Money. In the agreement, Airtel Money has considered a number of areas as part of Covid-19 relief measures.

“Beginning September 1 this year, Airtel Money has committed to scrap off transaction fees on purchases of electricity units,” Nkuna said.

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A recent statement issued by Airtel Malawi attests to the development as its mobile money company, Airtel Money, announced a reduction in withdraw fees on subscribers from a minimum of K20 to a maximum of K7, 000.

In a separate interview, Chief Executive Officer for the Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM), Lyness Nkungula, said the moratorium will continue to be applied among commercial banks on case to case basis.

“All customers whether institutions or individuals are encouraged to visit their bankers for such discussions and banks will continue to monitor the devastating effects of the coronavirus on their customers. It is our interest that customers are served accordingly to cushion such effects,” Nkungula said.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most of the sectors of the economy leading to loss of jobs especially in the hospitality, transportation and tourism industries.

The dean of commerce at the Polytechnic University Betcheni Tcheleni said in an earlier interview that this is the best time to offer economic cushioning measures because the effects of the shocks are now devastating.

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