Three banks commit over N500b to stem impact of Covid-19 pandemic

Announce zero charges for digital money transfers Three commercial banks have committed over N500 billion as part of efforts to push fight against COVID pandemic in Nigeria. The banks; Eco bank, Standard Chartered and First Bank also expressed their readiness to support government’s efforts towards ensuring that the impact of business shut down is minimal on the citizens.

Specifically, Standard Chartered announced that it would commit $1 billion to finance companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against Covid-19 crisis.

According to the bank, these are companies associated with tackling Covid-19, including manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers.

Also, non-medical companies that have volunteered to add this capability to their manufacturing output including ventilators, face masks, protective equipment, sanitisers and other consumables are included.

The Chief Executive Officer of Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered, Simon Cooper, said:

“Clearly there’s a cost for companies to switch into these hugely in- demand items, so it’s an area where we can potentially help them get these processes up and running more quickly; and at the same time, we want to make sure that existing manufacturers and service providers get the support they need.”

The bank intends to provide at least $1 billion to those companies in the form of loans, import/export finance or the working capital facilities that they use for day- to-day business operations to help them tool up, and help existing manufacturers get their products to market.

Standard Chartered is also trying to identify companies that may wish to switch into or add anti-virus products to their output but have not indicated that they will do so at this stage.

“Our industry teams are looking across our client base and, given our understanding of clients’ current manufacturing processes, we’re assessing which companies might want to consider adding these items to their production line,” Simon added.

Similarly, FirstBank said its donation the sum of N1 billion towards the joint effort by the Nigerian Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) to rapidly expand the health facilities; especially testing, isolation, treatment and the provision of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities pivotal to controlling the spread and more importantly, treating individuals diagnosed with COVID- 19.

This, is in addition to the bank’s drive to move one million children to e-learning, together with an early partner – Roducate – as recommended by the Ministry of Education, Lagos StateIn line with the 14-day stay home directive […]

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