Standard Chartered Bank Kenya has extended over Sh 650 million in financing to companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against COVID-19 in Kenya.
The bank provided the financing at preferential rates to support the clients with capital expenditure and working capital requirements.
The funds have enabled a number of these companies to switch their production lines to making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic. This has assisted manufacturers and suppliers to get their products to market faster than would in normal situations.
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Kariuki Ngari, said the financing was extended to the various sectors associated with helping to tackle COVID-19, including manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers, as well as non-medical companies that have volunteered to add this capability to their manufacturing output – goods in scope include ventilators, face masks, protective equipment, sanitisers and other consumables.
“We are going above and beyond only financing companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against COVID-19, to those planning to switch into making products that aid in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, and also financing the health sector to ensure adequate treatment and care for patients,” said Kariuki.
“Our financing towards the health sector and specifically private hospitals will go a long way in the purchase of medical equipment supplies such as surgical masks, ventilators, medical equipment gloves and other personal protective equipment as well as additional staffing during this crisis,” he added.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Standard Chartered has implemented a raft of measures to ensure safety of their staff, support to their retail and business customers including a 3-month holiday for loan holders, 12-month extension on personal loans and mortgage and a 6 to 12-month credit card payment extension.
Additionally, the bank has restructured loan facilities worth over Sh 22 billion to offer customers relief and donated over Sh 122 million to support vulnerable communities during these challenging times.