SBI to automatically extend moratorium by another three months

State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday said it has decided to automatically extend the moratorium by another three months for all eligible borrowers without waiting for their request.

Ever since the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) allowed banks to extend the moratorium, borrowers have been trying to figure out whether the extension will be automatic or they will have to reapply.

The bank said in a statement on Wednesday that it has also reached out to all of its eligible loan customers to obtain their consent to stop their standing instructions for the equated monthly instalments (EMIs) due in June, July and August 2020.

“For this, the bank has simplified the process of stopping the EMIs by initiating a short message service (SMS) communication to nearly 8.5 million eligible borrowers asking about their consent to stop EMIs. The borrowers have to reply with a yes to a designated virtual mobile number (VMN) mentioned in the SMS sent by the bank within five days of receiving the SMS, if they wish to defer the EMIs," the statement said.

Rajnish Kumar, chairman, SBI said on 22 May that about 20% of its borrowers have availed of the moratorium. He said that RBI’s extension of the ongoing moratorium by another three months will take care of cashflow disruptions for borrowers even in the absence of a one-time debt recast relief.

Kumar spoke to reporters soon after RBI governor Shaktikanta Das announced a 40-basis point (bps) repo rate cut and several regulatory measures in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

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