HSBC Bangladesh announced its detailed support measures to provide immediate assistance to its textile and garment customers – impacted by Covid-19 and its related economic volatilities – according to a statement issued by the bank.
The bank will work to ease cash flow pressures faced by businesses and to help customers tackle market uncertainties – including disruptions to their supply chains.
With these support measures, HSBC will provide an up-to-90-day extension of import liability maturing in the next three months – where export shipments are delayed.
The bank will also provide special short-term loans for up to one year with a principal moratorium for four months. The money can be used to support workforce costs, including: wages, bonuses, utilities, and other overhead payments.
The lender will also allow a three-month moratorium on existing term loans.
To ease the pressure on the Bangladeshi economy, HSBC has also announced trade relief in the form of waivers of letter-of-credit (LC) commissions and margin requirements for the import of medicine, medical equipment and accessories used to treat the coronavirus.
Customers facing delivery disruptions owing to late shipment and the late presentation of documents will also see amendment fees on LCs waived.
The bank said it recognises that many customers will operate in a virtual or business continuity work environment where a conventional paper flow is not possible.
In these circumstances, the bank, reads the statement, "will provide support to customers to onboard on to HSBC's digital platforms to enable the trade flow to continue. Urgent trade finance applications from customers to the platform will also be expedited."
Francois de Maricourt, chief executive officer (CEO) of HSBC Bangladesh, said: "We are going through challenging times in Bangladesh and are committed to continuing our support for the local community to the best of our capabilities.
"We empathise with our customers who have to deal with the turbulence caused by this unforeseeable outbreak, and we are taking actions to help alleviate their financial burdens."
Md Mahbub-ur Rahman, CEO designate of HSBC Bangladesh, said: "We are increasing our support to the business community to navigate this difficult journey together. Today's [Tuesday's] announcement is another testament of our commitment to our customers in Bangladesh."