RIGA - Companies and private individuals' interest in grace periods has been growing fast, Swedbank media relations manager Janis Krops told LETA.
Customers' interest in grace periods has increased tenfold in one week since Swedbank announced the option. On the average, the bank is receiving 200 applications from individuals and 50 applications from companies a day.
Swedbank has simplified the process of application for grace periods for bank customers facing unexpected financial difficulties - applications can now be submitted from a computer or a smartphone.
"In recent days, the number of companies and individuals who approach us with questions and concerns about their ability to meet contractual obligations has increased steeply. That is why we have quickly developed a new solution to make it easier for clients to apply for a grace period," said Swedbank Latvia chairman of the board Reinis Rubenis.
The bank has observed that, on the average, one out of two customers who inquire about grace periods eventually apply for one, while for the rest it is important to know their options should the situation worsen in the future, added Rubenis.
"It must be emphasized, however, that a grace period is an appropriate solution in the event of a real financial hardship, and it must be applied for in good time, before the first monthly payment is missed," Rubenis said.
Businesses and individuals can apply to have their principal payments deferred for up to six months and mortgage payments for up to 12 months.