Bahraini banks sustain their national role in facing COVID-19

The Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB) confirmed that all Bahraini banks continue to play their role in supporting national efforts to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. “BAB” indicated that the banks’ initiative to postpone their customers’ installments following the directives of CBB for the fourth time in a row is the latest measures taken by banks in this regard, so the total loan deferment periods are approximately two years.

The Association affirmed that Bahraini banks postponed installments four consecutive times since the outbreak of the pandemic. The first time for all individuals and institutions without interest or profits for a period of 6 months from March to September 2020, and the second time to postpone installments with interest calculated for a period of 4 months from September to December 2020, then a third time from January to June 2021, and finally from June until the end of this year. “BAB” pointed to a recent report issued by CBB, which showed that the total deferred loan installments since the outbreak of the pandemic for customers and financing institutions have reached a total of 5.1 billion Bahraini dinars.

CEO of the Association, Dr. Waheed Al Qassem, affirmed that the banks operating in the Kingdom of Bahrain were at the forefront of national institutions in supporting the national efforts to confront the pandemic through effective response to the royal directives, the cabinet, and CBB in appreciation of the great efforts made by the esteemed government to provide all support for the national economy and all economic activities to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

“Derasat Center recently published a research, which concluded that delaying the payment of loans contributed to helping Bahraini families overcome financial challenges resulting from the pandemic, including the decline in income and increase in expenditures. The research confirmed that without the payment postponement many Bahraini families would have to adopt other solutions to reduce expenses and deplete savings, including a small percentage that would have been intending to default on payment” Dr. Al Qassem said.

 “Banks have dealt with the circumstances imposed by the pandemic in an exceptional way, which enabled them to play a responsible national role that complements the distinguished national efforts. In addition to postponing installments since the start of the pandemic and until now, Bahraini banks have been the largest contributor to the “Feena Khair” campaign with a total amount of more than ten million dinars, and they continued to provide the necessary funding to individuals and institutions, maintained their employees, developed digital channels, and implemented precautionary measures decisively.” Dr. Al Qassem concluded.




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