During the quarantine period, Šiaulių Bankas postponed loan repayments to more than 600 customers
As of June 15, Šiaulių Bankas has already postponed credit repayments to 626 customers who experienced financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the announced quarantine. Business clients - 395 companies - account for the largest amount of loan deferrals, however, credit repayments were also temporarily suspended for 231 private customers.
The bank's customers, who have been facing financial challenges for three months, have been applying for deferral of credit repayments. According to Vytautas Sinius, the Chief Executive Office of Šiaulių Bankas, the bank provides assistance to the clients experiencing financial problems during this difficult period - from consultations to financial instruments.
"We actively communicate with the clients facing financial problems and try to find the most favourable solution to solve the situation. If the pandemic causes liquidity problems for companies, we are negotiating a deferral of loans, and the use of state-provided COVID-19 aid measures. It is good to see that during the quarantine period, many of our clients responsibly assessed the financial commitments made - in the face of difficulties they immediately addressed the bank for a solution. According to the new data of the bank, the virus pandemic has not significantly changed the behaviour of customers so far - most of the bank's customers pay their loan instalments on time, and a relatively small number of customers have requested deferrals,” - emphasized Vytautas Sinius.
A total of 578 applications for deferred credit payments were received from business customers, 395 applications have been approved so far, and the total amount deferred amounts to EUR 213,360 million (almost 15% of the total loan portfolio of corporate customers). Credit postponements were mainly requested by companies operating in the real estate, wholesale and retail trade, accommodation and catering, and manufacturing sectors.
Business customers apply to Šiaulių Bankas for a deferral of loan repayment without changing the terms of the agreements and paying interest only. Business customers are eligible for state-provided COVID-19 aid measures, such as interest compensation, soft loans and guarantees. In total, more than 300 business clients in Šiaulių Bankas took advantage of the instruments administered by INVEGA.
Deferred credit repayments were requested by 348 private customers, and 231 customers were approved, with a total deferred amount of EUR 6,367 million. Private customers mostly asked for deferrals of real estate and housing loans, less often - consumer loans and leasing payments.
Šiaulių Bankas defers housing loans to private customers facing financial difficulties for up to 12 months, and car leasing and consumer loans for up to 6 months. When a customer encounters financial difficulty, the bank seeks to negotiate with the customer and find a way out, and in case of serious challenges - to postpone payments.
Some requests to defer the repayment period are not approved due to non-submission of documents by customers proving reduced income. Also, some clients change their mind or find another solution after consulting a bank specialist.