Coronavirus: Absa to pay SME suppliers in two weeks
By Mercy Asamba | March 20th 2020
Absa Bank Kenya PLC has announced measures to support its customers and ensure working capital is available for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
This, in a bid to enable its customers to cope with any financial difficulties during a period when the country is battling the highly contagious virus, Covid-19.
“In order to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) meet their financial obligations during this period, we shall endeavor to pay all supplier invoices within 14 days. Additionally, we will work towards paying all invoices of Kes1 million and below, within 7 days,” the bank said in a statement.
Kenya has confirmed seven cases of coronavirus.
“Four more suspected cases admitted at Mbagathi Isolation Unit since the last update and one case has tested negative and is being processed,” Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said on Friday.
Absa, formerly Barclays Bank, Kenya, further urged its customers who may be experiencing financial strain due to the prevailing circumstances to discuss a suitable repayment plan with it.
“We will provide options for customers to either restructure their loans by reducing their monthly instalments over a period of up to one year, or take a short-term repayment holiday,” it said.
Just like Safaricom, Absa Bank announced that it has eliminated transaction fees for small amounts and increasing daily digital transaction limits in order to encourage cashless transactions.
“We have waived all transaction fees on money transfers between mobile wallets and bank accounts until 30 June 2020. Additionally, customers will now deposit up to Kes150, 000 per transaction,” read the statement.
The Government also announced that a special fund of Sh14 billion has been set aside to pay the genuine suppliers after the traders were subjected to scrutiny.
A brief from State House says the issue was discussed before the agreement was arrived at.
“On pending bills, the Cabinet was briefed on the status of outstanding payments in the Prisons Department and the National Youth Service and resolved to set up a Sh14 billion special fund to pay genuine suppliers,” reads part of the brief.
The move came following complaints they are suffering because the department had refused to settle their pending bills. Some say they have sold all their properties to stay afloat as banks have auctioned them.
This, is as the coronavirus crisis batters economies worldwide.
Globally, the pandemic has killed 10,495 people and infected 255,729.
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