By Angelos Anastasiou
On the heels of announcements by the Bank of Cyprus and the Co-operative Central Bank offering distressed borrowers more favourable repayment terms on Tuesday, Hellenic Bank followed suit with an announcement of its own policies on Wednesday.
“Hellenic Bank addresses the issue of non-performing loans in a way that supports, as opposed to undermining, the economy,” the lender said. “It evaluates lenders on an individual level, in an effort to offer viable and effective solutions for all co-operating customers, tailored to their own characteristics and particularities.”
Hellenic has adopted policies for private customers who have lost their jobs, are facing health issues or have suffered significant loss of income. The announcement said that measures taken to ease the burden on such customers include extending the repayment period up to a maximum of 15 years, with an age-clause for borrowers at 70-years-old, granting a ‘grace period’ of up to two years, and reducing interest rates, according to each borrower’s financial means.
With regard to small-and-medium businesses (SMEs), Hellenic said it applied similar policies subject to each business sector.
The announcement noted that of all troubled loans to date, over 50 per cent of primary-home and SME loans have been restructured.
“In the above context, borrowers are encouraged to contact their personal banker or the bank’s Arrears Management Unit, which was created in accordance with the Arrears Management Directive issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus, in order to examine the prospects of restructuring their loans based on their own financial abilities,” Hellenic said.