South African Standard Bank has extended its Covid-19 relief measures also to customers who hold personal accounts.

This is the second wave of relief measure. Previously the bank offered instalment relief for both SMEs and fulltime students who have taken loans from the bank.

Under the first relief measure, SMEs with less than R20m ($1.1m) of turnover was granted a three-month instalment relief on their business loan repayments.

The latest instalment relief is the extension of the same.

Under the extended support plan, customers who earn R7500 ($420.86) or less will receive a three-month instalment relief.

The relief, which will be available from 1 April 2020 to June 2020 end, applies to qualified customers with no debts from 31 March 2020 onwards.

It will automatically apply on accounts that include home loan, vehicle and asset finance, credit cards and short term loans, the bank said.

Standard Bank personal and business banking CEO Funeka Montjane said: “At Standard Bank, we are continuously looking for ways to provide the necessary assistance to our customers who have been impacted negatively by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is critical that we try to ease their financial burden and do what we can to prevent somebody from losing their home or having to close their business.

The bank noted that it is teaming up with government initiatives like the Solidarity Fund to support small businesses and their employees.

Additionally, the African banking sector has waived Saswitch fees during the lockdown.

Now customers can use any bank’s ATM and only pay the usual fees charged.

Montjane added: “We continue to work with the industry and regulators to ensure that we can solve some challenges systemically and we will play our part responsibly to support the government and the country.

“We will work tirelessly to find solutions that ease their financial burden in these times.”