Republic Bank’s COVID-19 updates

Covid19

This is where we will provide regular updates on what we are doing to help support and keep you safe during this pandemic.

 

Weathering this storm with you

Who would have thought that in a few months, simple gestures, such as a handshake or a tender embrace would become taboo? Instead of being close to our friends and family to show how much we love them, we must now physically distance ourselves from them to show how much we care.

Without a shadow of a doubt, COVID-19 has upended our lives in a way that no one could have imagined. Now that the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting over 2 million people, exhausting health care systems and crashing economies, some might say, and rightfully so, that it is too soon to be thinking about life after COVID-19. Sadly, there is no instruction manual or google search to tell us how to deal with our emotions or how to handle a human tragedy of this magnitude, and it is quite understandable that many of us are desperate to regain a semblance of control over our lives. I myself am desperate to return to a sense of normalcy, but like many of you, must remain resolute for those who are within my purview, including my colleagues and you – my extended Republic Family.

WE WILL ALWAYS BE THE ONE FOR YOU

At this time, I would like to underscore our commitment to you as we fulfill our responsibility as your financial partners. In March, we introduced several debt alleviation packages to ease your financial burden, including the 6-month moratorium on all loans, waivers of fees and penalties and the reduction of credit card interest rates. I hope that you utilise the full potential of these liquidity alleviation packages as they have been carefully curated to bring ease and assurance to you during these uncertain times. Once the cashflow demands have been ameliorated, let us begin talking about the medium to long term solutions to accommodate your future success. Please email your branch or account manager as early as practical for you.

Part of our mandate has always been to exercise our corporate social responsibility and provide aid to the communities we serve, and while we have expressed our commitment to our clients in overcoming their economic challenges, we also understand the social challenges being faced by the population and the dedicated frontline and health care workers. Recently, we announced that our parent company, Republic Financial Holdings Limited, approved the contribution, equivalent of US$2million, to be shared collectively across all the territories in which it maintains its operations.

ENSURING SERVICE CONTINUITY

While we recognise our critical role in ensuring that essential services remain unaffected, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our branch footprint and services in the best interest of our clients and staff, but assure you that we remain operational to better serve you and satisfy the exceptional customer service you’ve grown accustomed to. I encourage everyone to use this opportunity to join our RepublicOnline community by signing up now at republictt.com. We have simplified the signup process to have the entire transaction completed without leaving the comfort of your home.

While we await guidance from the experts, we will continue to provide assistance, be it financial or otherwise to those we have been entrusted to serve. I trust that you and your family are staying at home and staying safe during these perilous times, and following the guidelines set out by those who are charged with the responsibility of securing our safety. Remember, this too will pass!

On behalf of the Republic Family, our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
#StayHomeStaySafe
#WeAreTheOneForYou
#WeAreStrongerThanOurFears
#WeWillBounceBackTogether

Sincerely,
Nigel Baptiste
Managing Director



Posted on: April 23, 2020.


At Republic Bank your health and well-being, and that of our staff and communities, are always our main priority. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we assure you that we remain committed to providing the banking services you need in the safest environments possible.

Following the guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization, we have increased the sanitization of all high-traffic touch points at our branches.

As we each do our part in limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus and in line with the urgings of the authorities around social distancing we request that customers consider minimizing their visits to the bank’s branches where possible by:

  • Utilizing the Bank’s digital and electronic channels
    • RepublicOnline
    • RepublicMobile
    • ATMs
  • Using your debit and credit cards at Point-of-Sale terminals instead of cash
  • Avoiding banking halls if you have flu-like symptoms, contact us at 625-4411 to find out how we may facilitate your banking needs via telephone
  • Postponing transactions if not critical

We encourage you to continue to observe the recommended hygienic practices to help prevent the spread of the virus; and to be mindful of those who may be more vulnerable around you. By observing these practices, you can help protect yourself, your family and your community.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,
Nigel Baptiste
Managing Director

Please be advised that our Valpark Branch is closed for the remainder of the day – September 18, 2020.

The branch will reopen on September 21, 2020 and return to the previously implemented opening hours (view below) until further notice.

We invite you to use our suite of quick and convenient digital banking services to complete your transactions and limit your in-branch visits, where possible – RepublicMobile App, RepublicOnline, Cardless Cash, EPay and Blue Machine ATM services.

If you must visit the branch, we encourage you to observe our in-branch safety protocols.


In our ongoing efforts to safeguard our clients, staff and the public, with effect from Monday August 24, 2020, our banking hours will be adjusted as follows, until further notice:

Non-mall branches:
  • Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (hours remain the same)
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (no closure and no extended hours)

Mall branches:
  • Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

We encourage you to continue practicing the assigned health and safety protocols to stem the spread of COVID-19.

We also remind you that our RepublicMobile App, RepublicOnline, Cardless Cash and Blue Machine ATM services are quick and convenient ways to complete your financial transactions.

Republic Bank COVID-19 Customer Support

In response to the anticipated economic and social fallout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Republic Bank recognizes that we have a collective responsibility to ensure the sustainability of the business community, our employees, our customers and ultimately, our country.

In this regard, we seek to bolster our support for all our valued customers by introducing the following measures which will alleviate financial hardship.

Personal customers
  • Debt restructuring will be considered on case by case basis
  • Temporary increase of overdraft and credit card limits
  • Automatic waivers for the next 6 months on:
    • Credit Card – late fees and over limit fees effective March 20, 2020
    • Overdrawn account fees
    • Late fees on loan repayments
    • No Penalties for early withdrawal of Certificate of Deposit accounts
SME, Commercial and Corporate customers
  • Debt restructuring will be considered on case by case basis
  • Temporary increase of overdraft and credit card limits
  • Reduction in Merchant Commission fee by up to 1%
  • Automatic waivers:
    • Credit Card – late fees and over limit fees effective March 20, 2020
    • Overdrawn account fees
    • Late fees on loan repayments
    • No Penalties for early withdrawal of Certificate of Deposit accounts

To be eligible for Automatic Waivers, customers must be in good standing with the Bank.

Interest rate adjustment
  • Credit card interest rates to be reduced from 2% per month to 1.75% per month, effective March 21, 2020.
  • Prime lending rate reduced by 2.25% from 9.75% to 7.50%, effective March 23, 2020

As we all work together to overcome these challenging times, Republic Bank continues to advise its customers to limit the number of in-branch visits and utilize its digital and electronic banking channels. Customers are also encouraged to contact the Corporate Centre or their Home branch regarding any queries or challenges that may be faced. Customers may also email any queries to email@rfhl.com.

Adjustment in Services

In our ongoing efforts to safeguard our clients, staff and the public, we have adjusted our banking services.

Please note, our full suite of services, including on boarding of new accounts, are available from Tuesday 26, May, 2020.

To assist you with your banking needs and help you avoid a visit to a branch, we have made the following changes:

  • Use our ATMs for withdrawals up to $5,000.00,
  • Swipe your OneCard at Point-of-Sale terminals for payments of up to $10,000.00 and
  • Use Cardless Cash to send up to $1500.00 to anyone with a mobile phone. Funds can then be withdrawn from any one of our conveniently located Blue Machines nationwide, without the use of a card!

Please note that sign-ups for RepublicMobile and RepublicOnline will be facilitated online at https://republictt.com.

Customers are urged to send all enquiries, including moratorium requests, to email@rfhl.com or apply online here.


Priority Services to Persons 60 Year Old and Over and the Differently Abled

The first hour of each day will be dedicated to providing banking services to persons 60 years old and over and the differently abled. They will continue to receive priority treatment during the remaining opening hours, in order to decrease the time spent in branches.

Social Distancing

To ensure all clients are afforded a safe environment in which to conduct their banking services, the following measures will be implemented:

  • All non-cash services (including requests for moratorium and debt restructuring) can now be initiated via email at email@rfhl.com. Clients should include their home branch in the Subject of the email. This process applies to clients of branches open and closed to the public. Please note that Republic will NOT send clients any email requiring them to respond sharing any confidential banking details.
  • To make it easier to access our online and mobile banking services, clients are asked to follow the usual registration process up to and including printing and signing of the registration form. Once signed, during this period the Bank will accept an email with an image of the signed registration form and copies of any supporting documents. Please ensure the legibility of the form. A service agent of the Bank will contact the client to confirm ONLY that the form was submitted electronically.
  • Clients who require access to safety deposit lockers will be required to email the above address or contact the branch to make arrangements.
  • We're still observing physical distancing. We've placed markers defining the required distance to be kept between individuals in all branches. Please use these guides.

Enhanced sanitization efforts
To ensure a safe environment for clients and staff we continue with our program of daily deep cleaning and sanitization of all locations. We have also provided portable sinks at the entrances to all branches.

Temperature checks, face masks mandatory
Please be advised that temperature scanning is now mandatory at all branches, along with the wearing of masks and hand washing/sanitising.
During this simple and short process, clients will have their temperatures checked by a staff member upon entry. If that check indicates a temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, clients will be asked to step aside and wait 10-15 minutes before a second temperature check is administered.
Once this second test proves to be under 38 degrees Celsius, the client will be allowed to proceed into the branch and conduct transactions accordingly.
We thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we continue to bolster existing in-branch safety protocols and stem the spread of COVID-19.

The moratorium we are offering is a postponement of monthly instalments, including the principal and interest for a period of 1-6 months beginning on the date of acceptance.
Interest will continue to accrue during the period of the moratorium.

There are no fees related to this moratorium offer on personal and commercial loans.
However, for loans secured by a Mortgage Bill of Sale or Chattel Mortgage, the legal fees or stamp duty must be paid by the customer

Six months from the date of acceptance.
E.g. March to August or
June to November

No. You will not pay interest upon interest; however, interest will continue to accrue during the period of the moratorium.

Yes.
At the end of the moratorium period, you have the option to have the loan:

  • extended by an additional 1-6 months
  • re-amortized based on the outstanding principal and interest capitalized over the remaining period of the loan
  • regularized by paying the deferred payments as a lump sum and maintain the instalment and existing maturity date
  • rescheduled / refinanced in line with normal lending guidelines

No.
Acceptance of the moratorium is for the full instalments which includes the principal and interest.
With ordinary loans, requests will be considered on a case by case basis.

Yes.
Where requested, the new maturity dates of such facilities will be extended beyond the retirement date however, by no more than six months.

No.
Please see the exceptions below:

  1. Contract employment / contract proceeds: The following must be referred on a case by case basis:
    • personal loans which were granted with the intent to be repaid within the contract period
    • commercial facilities where the contract proceeds is the source of repayment
  2. Loans in arrears in excess of three months
  3. Expired facilities
  4. TSTT loans (customer to be directed to TSTT)
  5. T&TEC EHOP loans (customer to be directed to T&TEC)
  6. HELP ordinary loans

Yes.
The surety/guarantor will be required to sign the Moratorium Request Form

You will be required to complete and submit the Moratorium Request Form, along with the co-borrower (if applicable) and surety/guarantor (if applicable).
You can apply using any one of the following methods:

  • Click HERE to complete the Moratorium Request Form. Upon submission our branch sales staff will reach out to you with an update.
  • Visit our website: Visit https://content.republictt.com/tt_moratorium_request.html where the link to the electronic form is advertised for completion and subsequent submission.
  • Email: Send an email to email@rfhl.com. Please ensure you put your branch’s name in the subject line. For example: Request for Moratorium – Park Street Branch.
  • Via phone: Call your Branch, Branch Sales Manager, Account Manager, Relationship Manager or Sales Officer to request the moratorium.
  • Walk-in: As a last resort, you may visit your desired branch to apply for a moratorium. If the branch is closed, you may visit the nearest open branch to complete the Moratorium Request Form.
Requests must be made at least 48 hours before the payment due date.

Instalments made prior to March 2020, the effective date of the moratorium, will not be reversed.
However, reversal of partial / full payments made in March and going forward, will be determined on a case by case basis.

Where the request is made at least 48 hours before the instalment due date, the customer’s credit history will not be negatively affected.

Yes. Your sales staff will advise you of the necessary details.

No. Credit card limit increases, Overdraft increases, and Debt restructuring will be treated in the usual manner.

Overdrawn account fees levied on savings accounts and chequing accounts without issued cheque books will be waived.

Yes.
Under the moratorium, the loan will be extended for a period of 1-6 months.
However, requests for a further extension on loans will be determined on a case by case basis and will be subject to the normal lending and restructuring criteria.

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