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UAE loan payments, new loans: Use of Dh50 billion in zero-cost facilities for banks, finance companies extended

Dubai: In a regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank on Wednesday, the attendees were briefed on the comprehensive stimulus economic plan and its role in mitigating the financial and economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank chaired the meeting. 

This includes a decision to extend the Dh50 billion zero-cost facilities available for the use of banks and finance companies. This extension is part of the postponement program to enable deferral of payments of loans from individuals and sectors affected by the repercussions of the pandemic until the end of 2021.

These facilities are included in the recovery program to help banks grant new loans to these customers until the end of June, 2022.

Who is eligible for the scheme?

Banks and finance companies participating in the Targeted Economic Support Scheme (TESS) will be able to provide new loans and facilities to customers negatively affected by the pandemic within the applicable terms and conditions set by the TESS standards published by the Central Bank on its website.

TESS facilities are available as a temporary relief from the payments of principal and/or interest/profit on outstanding loans for all affected private sector corporates, SMEs and individuals.

SMEs and private corporates in the UAE Free Zones are included in the TESS, however, entities registered in the UAE Free Zones providing financial activities and financial banking activities are not included. The TESS does not apply to outstanding loans to government, government-related entities (GREs) and non-residents.

How can I apply?

Individuals and businesses who are impacted by COVID related liquidity crunch need to approach their banks directly or through their relationship managers to avail deferment of their existing loans. Bankers said priority will be given to those who are availing the facility for the first time, but those applying for a second time too will be considered on merit.

Other decisions

The board also approved a licence for establishing a bank operated according to the low-risk banking system.

The bank approved the issuance of the third and new issue of the banknote in line with the country’s preparations for the “Year of 50”. The new banknote is printed as per the highest international security standards. Abdul Rahman Saleh Al Saleh, vice-chairman of the board, and members of the board were present.

Financial services veteran Khaled Mohammed Al Tameemi was appointed central bank governor.