As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, Citi has launched a series of measures across Asia Pacific to offer assistance to retail and institutional customers. These include fee waivers for loan extensions, reduced financing rates for eligible clients programs and additional retail and small business support.
In Hong Kong for example, Citi will offer its commercial bank clients a one-month maturity extension on existing and new import trade loans. The maturity extension may be further extended to two months on a case by case basis. Clients will also have the flexibility to convert a portion of their unutilized trade lines into a revolving line for six months. In addition, account opening fees for new Citi Commercial Bank clients will be waived.
Successful applicants under the new Hong Kong SME Financing Guarantee Scheme will be granted a guarantee premium waiver for the first two years, up to HK$100,000. A concession interest rate of Prime – 1 percent p.a. for the first six months will be offered.
In consumer banking, Citi is offering a principal moratorium for up to six months to eligible mortgage clients with good repayment records in the past 12 months. Also, qualified credit card clients may apply for a waiver on late charges in several markets across Asia Pacific.
In Korea, the bank is extending additional loans of up to KRW500 million per borrower at interest rates of less than 1.0 percent p.a. In addition, for loans that will reach maturity within three months, the bank will waive mandatory repayment obligations and extend repayments on a case by case basis.
For borrowers directly damaged by the virus with defaulted loans, late fees will be reduced/waived for up to three months, and borrowers living in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province will be allowed to roll over existing debt via digital channels.
In Singapore, Citi is offering eligible clients interest and fees waivers, tenure extensions, alternative settlement arrangements, options to restructure borrowing and trade credit facilities, and extension of liquidity and loan payment reduction programs among others. For small business owners with a servicing loan, late fees may be waived for up to three months while credit card and unsecured lending customers have the option to elect a debt restructuring program at a lower interest rate and up to 60 months’ tenure.
In Malaysia, individual and commercial banking SME customers will have an automatic moratorium on loan/financing repayments and payments excluding credit card balances for a period of six months beginning April 1, 2020.
Citi Malaysia will not compound interest for housing loan mortgage and personal loans. For Islamic home financing, profit accrued on the outstanding principal amount will not be compounded in line with Shariah principles. Credit card customers with outstanding card balances can also apply to convert their balances into term loans to relieve any short term financing pressure.
In the Philippines, Citi has waived all PesoNet fees and like in several markets under government lockdowns, has leveraged its digital platforms to enable corporate clients to conduct business activities and financial transactions while working from home to support the government’s quarantine efforts.
In China, Citi has offered suppliers in its Supplier Chain Finance program reduced rates to ease working capital constraints during this time. With Citi Supplier Finance, our corporate clients can help their suppliers (in many cases SMEs and MMEs) to turn their receivables into cash faster, giving them access to the liquidity they need to keep their day-to-day operations running smoothly.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we want our customers to know we are here to provide assistance should they need it,” said Peter Babej, Asia Pacific CEO. “We continue to monitor developments closely and will evaluate additional actions to support our clients and communities as needs arise.”
In addition, Citi has assistance programs for eligible credit card customers, including credit line increases, which are available via the bank’s mobile apps. We will continue to monitor the situation to determine extension or expansion of available assistance. Customers directly impacted by the virus are encouraged to contact their Relationship Managers to discuss how we may be able to assist based on their individual or small business needs.
In the last two months Citi has also supported clients with their capital needs, raising over US$10 billion for Asian clients from global capital markets including the bank’s first virtual IPO for Nasdaq listed Huize with all roadshows held via video and audio calls. The bank is also supporting key clients with financing including a recent loan for Qantas and recently led a COVID-related financing for the Republic of Indonesia.
The bank has also been working closely with corporate and institutional clients across trade finance and cash management utilizing its digital transaction services to support clients from onboarding, paying and receiving funds and facilitating trade transactions digitally.
This evolving situation has also highlighted the importance of supporting communities and demonstrating our capacity to offer critical aid at times of need. Citi announced support to relief efforts directly in China in February and on March 19, we announced that the Citi Foundation will contribute $15 million to support ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts in communities we serve around the world including Asia Pacific.
Of that total, one third will be deployed internationally to country-specific efforts in areas most severely impacted. The remaining $10 million will be divided between two organizations on the crisis’ front lines: the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, established by the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation at the request of the World Health Organization, and No Kid Hungry to support emergency food distribution programs in the U.S.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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James Griffiths, +852-2868-7668, firstname.lastname@example.org