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How do Armenian banks respond to the problems caused by the pandemic of the new coronavirus COVID-19? What kind of measures are being taken to support the clients and protect their health? Ameriabank CEO Artak Hanesyan answered these questions by EADaily.

 

- Your bank is the leader in Armenia by the key financial indicators. How does the largest bank in the republic respond to its clients’ problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic?

Considering the problems faced by the business community because of coronavirus pandemic, as well as in order to avoid crowding of people in the bank’s branches and secure safety of our clients, we have decided to give a “credit vacation” from March 13 to May 13, 2020 to all our individual and private entrepreneur clients. During the specified period of time, they may skip regular repayments of their loans, including principal amount, accrued interest, service fees, and other payments, without any adverse effect. The unpaid amount will be recalculated and reallocated over the next six months in accordance with the revised schedule to be received by the clients in the manner chosen by them in advance. The bank has determined to cover all associated costs and the clients will not be charged any interest for reallocated amounts.

Besides, we will apply an individual approach to companies in the most vulnerable sectors - tourism, hospitality, and catering. In accordance with the individual approach, they will be able to defer repayment of the principal loan amount for 3-6 months, starting from March 16.

We had to close our branches located inside shopping malls. All other branches continue working based on the standard schedule. As a bank developed in digital banking, we offer our clients a wide range of online services. To support our clients, such services are currently offered free of charge.

 

- What steps does the bank take to protect the health of its employees?

Maintaining a healthy and positive climate in the team is an essential component and value inherent to our activity. As part of securing the safety and health of our employees and clients, we constantly disinfect the premises and actively observe the hygiene rules. The safety and health of our employees is an important priority for us. All meetings, training sessions, and job interviews are held remotely. Offices are constantly disinfected and aired; the employees get masks, gloves, and alcogels every day.

For safety reasons and as a result of reduced business activity, more than 50% of our employees do not come to work, but their salary is paid fully. Despite the opportunity to declare forced downtime and pay partial remuneration, we decided to pay salaries in full.

We are glad that in the current situation, difficult for all of us, our employees actively contribute to business continuity and all established working groups are functioning efficiently and dynamically. I would like to express gratitude to them for their consolidated and dedicated work in this tough period. I am confident that only owing to cohesion will our people be able to overcome the problems that coronavirus pandemic caused all over the world.

 

Source: EADaily

Updated 20.03.2020, 14:45
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