Three banks to lower lending rates

  • HSBC Bermuda’s Harbourview building on Front Street

    HSBC Bermuda’s Harbourview building on Front Street

HSBC Bermuda, Butterfield Bank and Clarien Bank are all lowering their base lending rates for business and retail customers.

All three banks said they were making their moves to help customers with the likely negative economic impact from the Covid-19 crisis.

On Sunday, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve dropped its influential federal funds rate by one percentage point in an emergency measure, less than two weeks after a half-point cut for similar reasons.

HSBC Bermuda’s base lending rate for business clients will be reduced from 4.75 per cent to 4.25 per cent, while the base lending rate for retail customers will be reduced from 3.75 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

The rate reductions are effective May 1, HSBC said.

Butterfield’s base rate for Bermuda dollar residential mortgages and consumer loans will decrease half a percentage point to 4.75 per cent. The rate decrease on personal loans was effective yesterday while the rate decrease on Bermuda residential mortgages “will become effective as soon as practically possible”, the bank said.

Clarien Bank said its Bermuda dollar personal base lending rate will be reduced by half a percentage point to 4 per cent and its Bermuda dollar commercial base rate by half a percentage point to 4.25 per cent. Borrowers will be notified of the effective dates in accordance with the terms of their facility.

HSBC Bermuda added: “Additionally, the bank would like to remind its customers to proactively contact their banking relationship manager or make an appointment with the retail team if they are experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic.

“The bank will review each case on an individual basis to determine the most appropriate way to support customers that are facing particular challenges.”

Michael Neff, Butterfield’s managing director in Bermuda, said: “It is our intention, with this significant decrease in rates, to help ease the financial burden on personal banking and business customers whose income may be impacted by the potential decrease in local economic activity associated with the health crisis.

“The bank is additionally reviewing the fee schedules and payment terms of select other products and may make changes to provide additional relief to customers during this challenging period, including providing extensions on repayment of credit card balances.

“We want our customers to know that we are here to support them, and those who may find themselves in financial difficulty should not hesitate to reach out to us to discuss their situations.

“Doing our part to help protect the health of our community and keep our economy functioning is our priority.”

Clarien Bank explained in a statement: “Governments and financial institutions around the globe are implementing measures to reduce the negative economic impact resulting from Covid-19 and to create financial stimulus where possible. As a result, we will be making adjustments to our personal and commercial base lending rates.”

Clarien added that it was enacting its business continuity plans to ensure minimal disruption to its day-to-day business.

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Published Mar 17, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 8:43 am)

Three banks to lower lending rates

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