The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said that banks in Singapore will freeze mortgage payments and defer loan payments for small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) in order to offer relief to businesses and individuals as they fight the coronavirus crisis.
Banks in Singapore can defer both the principal and interest payments for mortgages through December 31st, due to the Covid-19 outbreak the central bank said.
This adds to several other fiscal and monetary measures undertaken by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to help the city-state deal with the worst economic downturn in a decade caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
More than S$40 billion of existing loan facilities to small businesses will likely qualify for the relief plan announced for Singapore bank customers due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Samuel Tsien, chairman of the Association of Banks in Singapore, said in the statement, “The shock to the economy from the COVID-19 outbreak is unprecedented. We must take extraordinary measures to address not just a health crisis, but what has developed to become a deep global economic crisis.”
Banks such as DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking and United Overseas Bank are already taking steps to provide Singaporeans with measures that include deferring principal repayments and liquidity relief.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore, along with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the General Insurance Association (GIA), and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), revealed a series of support packages to help ease the financial strain on individuals and SMEs caused by coronavirus pandemic.
The measures undertaken by the authorities will help individuals and businesses meet their loan and insurance commitments. They are also designed to support SMEs with continued access to bank credit and insurance cover and ensure interbank funding markets remain liquid and in good health.