Most banks have decided to allow clients to delay the payment of instalments of various types of monthly deposit schemes for reducing unnecessary rush to branches during the coronavirus crisis.
Janata Bank, one of the largest state-owned banks, on Monday issued an internal circular asking its branches to allow clients till June to pay instalments of different monthly deposit schemes without any fine if they pay April and May instalments with that of June.
Generally, DPS holders have to deposit a certain amount of money within a certain time every month, for example during the first 10 days or from 11th to 20th. If they miss or fail to pay the instalment on time, banks must impose a minimum of Tk50 to maximum fine as a penalty depending on the amount of instalment.
Like Janata Bank, Sonali Bank and Rupali Bank also gave the same directive spontaneously to bring relief to their depositors from going to bank in person during the shutdown, which may worsen the coronavirus pandemic.
Exim Bank, a Shariah-based private commercial bank, recently sent text messages to its clients, informing that it would allow payment of monthly instalments till May 31 without any fine.
Dr Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, managing director and CEO of the bank, told The Business Standard, "We do not want to put our customers in danger by asking them to go to bank for depositing instalments. So, we instructed them to stay home now.
"After the pandemic is over, they can go to bank to deposit the DPS instalments."
Social Islami Bank is also allowing payment of April, May and June instalments altogether in June without any fine.
Meanwhile, some banks have also reduced the burden of paying the recent months' instalments of personal loan till June. Brac Bank has informed its clients via text that they can extend their loan for an extra three months without any additional interest.
Managing Director of the bank Selim RF Hussain said, "To provide comfort for our clients, we have decided to give this kind of facility to our retail clients and other segments of business. If anybody wants, he or she can enjoy this facility."
On Wednesday, Rupali Bank issued a circular saying it would suspend recovering loan repayment instalments of April, May and June for personal or professional loans and construction loans. In July, the instalments will be adjusted with the rest of the loan amount.
To save borrowers from the economic crisis resulting from the ongoing shutdown to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, the central bank had instructed banks and financial institutions not to classify any loan as default if the borrower failed to pay the loan till June.
Even credit cardholders do not need to pay the monthly bill in due time and no compound interest can be imposed for late payment of bill till May 31, as per the instruction of the Bangladesh Bank.