Coronavirus: Bahrain Central Bank orders delay of loan installments by 6 months

Bahrain’s Central Bank has ordered all banks and financing companies to extend repayment of loan installments for a period of six months starting January 2021, as part of the government’s measures to ease pressure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Licensees must offer their customers six-month installments deferment options, starting from 1st January 2021. The said option must entail extending the tenor to take into account the additional profit/interest, while keeping the installment amount unchanged,” the Central Bank of Bahrain said its circular to banks.

The Central Bank indicated that the option to postpone installments must be offered to all customers residing in the Kingdom, whether individuals or companies, with the exception of amounts owed on credit cards and loans transferred to the court unless there is coordination with the court.

Earlier in March during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, Bahraini nationals were given the option of delaying payment of bank loans by six months. The waiver at the time also covered credit cards but did not include inter-bank deposits or borrowings.

Bahrain also announced in March a financial package of $11.39 billion (4.3 billion Bahraini dinar) to combat the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, including measures covering electricity and water payments for individuals and companies for three months starting in April.

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