As the World Health Organization declares an official pandemic for COVID-19, UK banks announced plans to mitigate the virus’s economic impacts following a similar move from Italian institutions.
RBS was among the first to announce its measures, which included mortgage and loan relief for three months.
Other banks soon followed with their own deferment plans. TSB will offer a two-month delay, while Barclays, Lloyds, Santander and Virgin Money will all negotiate relief on an individual basis.
In addition to these efforts, a few of these institutions have introduced funds for small businesses. NatWest will offer £5 billion to SMEs affected by coronavirus, while Lloyds will chip in £2 billion.
Increases to credit card limits, cash withdrawals and even dropped fees for missed payments are also being instituted. While these policies still need to be vetted for their impact on users’ credit ratings, they may offer some relief in the midst of the crisis.