LAGOS: The country’s foremost financial institution – Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has suspended its loan repayment plan for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMSs) that have obtained credit facilities from the Bank.
According to the Bank in a statement through its social media platform, captioned, “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and because small businesses have had to stay closed to stay safe, we’re giving a 90-day moratorium on repayment of the following loans.”
GTB stressed that the idea was to reduce the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the SMEs amid a lockdown, saying the exempted businesses were those in the food, fashion and quick credit for businesses.
Following the extension of the lockdown, the GTBank moratorium on loan repayment is expected to cover the period.
Recall, GTB posted a profit after tax of N196.85bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2019 in contrast to N184.71bn posted in 2018, accounting for a growth of 6.57 per cent. This is just as the financial institution declared a final dividend of N2.50 per share.
This is contained in the Bank’s audited financial result released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos.
The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states have been badly hit by the COVID-19 lockdown ordered by the President Muhammadu Buhari, aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic.
The informal sector and the self-employed have been the most affected, as most of them have had to shut down their businesses, compared to large corporations whose workers have been working from home.