via Loop Jamaica
Amidst growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Sagicor Bank said it is committing to assist clients to navigate the effects of the outbreak on businesses.
Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, CEO, Sagicor Bank said she anticipates that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) will be most negatively impacted by the various precautionary measures being taken locally and globally to stem the spread of the coronavirus for the protection of each country.
Consequently, the CEO pledged Sagicor Bank’s commitment to the sector and noted that the bank stands ready to help business operators throughout this challenging period.
“Our business bankers have already been reaching out to our small business owners to ascertain the impact of this changing environment on their business and how we can help them navigate their way through this crisis”, Johnson Cunningham said.
The bank has also announced a reduction in its Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) fees to facilitate online transactions at this time. This also applies to general customers.
This reduction is effective Friday, March 20, 2020 and will remain in effect until Monday, March 30, 2020.
This will impact on clients transferring funds from a Sagicor Bank account to another local banking institution or and/or receiving funds online to a Sagicor Bank account or receiving funds from another institution.
The Sagicor Bank CEO further added that clients who require urgent assistance and are already being impacted should reach out to their business bankers to discuss their current financial status as soon as possible so that they can get the assistance they require. Clients are encouraged to send in their queries/request to the following email address: [email protected]
In speaking to the fallout in the tourism sector and the various travel restrictions in place across the world, Johnson Cunningham shared that many of the bank’s corporate clients would also be significantly impacted and the bank has already started to dialogue with its clients to see how best they can support them during this time.
“We have several corporate clients that operate in other industries that we know will also be affected and have cashflow disruptions as a result of the pandemic; but we remain in our clients' corner and encourage them to speak to their Relationship Managers, who will assess their needs and prescribe the most appropriate assistance for their unique situation,” Johnson Cunningham said.
Johnson Cunningham added, “We have seen the devastation of this virus worldwide and know that it has far-reaching implications on all aspects of society. We want our clients to know that no matter the circumstances, we will continue to be in their corner, supporting them and ensuring that their business and safety remain a top priority for us.”
Over the past few weeks, select business credit cardholders have received temporary limit increases to assist with working capital needs, in addition to receiving a payment holiday, to alleviate the strain on operational cash flow.
Similarly, some consumer credit card holders have been granted with credit card limit increases, which will assist with unexpected expenses and every day spend.
For added convenience, Johnson Cunningham noted that an additional teller has been assigned to all branches to accommodate transactions to be completed by senior citizens who choose to come in branches for transactions.
The CEO, however, urged and encouraged those who can, to utilize the Sagicor Bank e-banking platform to conduct transactions in order to minimize the possible spread of the virus.
Johnson Cunningham also urged Jamaicans to be vigilant in protecting their health and to follow the protocols outlined by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to safeguard against the virus and protect themselves and loved ones.
“I want to encourage everyone to be prudent in all their endeavours as we weather this crisis together,” she said.