Scotiabank Independence Square, Port-of-Spain.

Scotiabank is now offering automatic deferral, for a period of up to six months, to all its clients who may have loans or credit cards payments due to the bank.

According to a release yesterday from the bank, all loans and credit cards will automatically be deferred and those wanting to continue paying their loans can call Scotia to make those arrangements, while those wanting to continue paying their credit cards may do so.

According to the press release: “Business Banking customers with credit cards and Retail customers with credit cards, Scotialine, auto loans and other term loans will now benefit from an automatic deferral on payments up to 6 months (initially for 3 months, with a possible 3 month extension).”

It added: “For credit card customers who do not wish to participate in the payment deferral, you may simply continue to make payments—there is no need to contact us. Loan customers who do not wish to participate in the payment deferral may contact us at 62-SCOTIA to arrange for regular payments to continue.”

The bank noted that a payment deferral means that you will not be required to make regular payments to your loans (principal, interest, insurance premium, if applicable) during the period of the deferral.

It said the sudden financial impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented, and many of its customers are understandably concerned about their financial well-being during these challenging times.

Scotia’s release noted that last week it announced that the bank will provide support to customers with the delay of payments on various products for up to 6 months. Since then it has been working on financial relief measures to help with any financial hardships that its customers may be experiencing.

Vice President & Chief Risk Officer, Karen Abraham commented: “The relief program me will ease the financial burden of customers as we cope with the effects of COVID-19.”

She added: ‘For customers whose payments are deferred, interest on the loan will continue to accrue, and any loan insurance premiums will still be due, however both of these will be payable at a later point in the loan’s term.”

On request, retail mortgage customers may defer payments initially for 3 months, with a possible 3 months extension. Karen advises, ‘If you choose to defer payments on your mortgage, please contact a Scotiabank Financial Advisor at 62SCOTIA’.

According to the bank during the time you defer your mortgage payments, interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the mortgage starting on the date of acceptance into the financial relief programme and will be payable at a later date during the loan term.

Business Banking and Commercial customers will also be able to request loan payment deferral options, with deferrals of 3 months in the first instance with the possibility of extension for a further 3 months.

Digital banking & ATMs

Scotia said given the public health guidelines around social distancing, it asks customers to think very carefully about visiting its branches and remind customers to utilize Digital Banking and ATMs. Scotia Online Banking and the Scotia Caribbean Mobile App that allows for the payment of bills, transfer funds and check account activity 24/7.