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StanChart bank has announced a number of measures to cushion mortgage holders and other of its customers from the ongoing COVID-19 economic crisis.

Customers will receive a 3-month repayment moratorium on mortgages. Included is an option for mortgage customers to pay interest only for a six-month window, without making principal debt repayments

The bank said it had also agreed with the Central Bank of Kenya to extend mortgage repayments by up to 12 months.

StanChart said its relationship managers were reaching out to all commercial and global clients to help them manage the economic impacts of the pandemic.

StanChart bank is Kenya’s third-largest holder of mortgage accounts in the country after KCB and Housing Finance, with 2038 accounts as of 2018 according to Business Daily.

The move will offer cash relief for many mortgage customers who may already be experiencing the adverse effects of the crisis on cash flows.

This is the first explicit move by any bank to cushion mortgage owners from the far-reaching effects of the crisis. The break will also apply to other loan holders.

The government has not communicated any direct measures to mortgage owners apart from the general reduction in corporate tax from 30% to 25%.

Tenants have also called on the government to declare a 3-month rent break to cushion them from the effects of the pandemic. The Urban Landlords and Tenants Association (ULTAK) has spoken the matter to landlords, however, the government has remained silent on the matter.

Read; Value of Building Approvals projected to decline

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