'We Are Nervous': Banks Mull Impact of Coronavirus on SA

Source: Times Live

“We are nervous; incredibly nervous — the impact of this is likely to be far worse than the financial crisis of 2008.”

That was an off-the-record comment by a bank insider, who used the word “seismic” three times during our brief chat.

SA’s banks are issuing fairly cautious official responses to media questions about how they intend to deal with thousands of defaulting business and private clients as the Covid-19 pandemic fallout erodes or halts their income.

But privately they are clearly in crisis mode.

The Italian Banking Association, which represents 90% of banking assets in Italy, has said lenders would allow a pause in payments to help companies and households disrupted by the virus and the quarantine.

France’s president has suspended payment of taxes, rent, water, gas and electricity bills for companies during the coronavirus outbreak.

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