Business survival through a turbulent times
South African businesses need to prepare and brace themselves for a highly challenging period ahead as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts day-to-day life and commerce. There is now a pressing need for effective risk mitigation and business continuity measures, and these must include partner firms, suppliers and other stakeholders.
Planning crucial in cross-border trade
In numerous industries, supply chains and cash flows are being severely disrupted, particularly for those businesses involved in cross-border trade.
With this in mind, organisations should consider the early loading and planning of payments, as well as intensive cash-flow management and liquidity planning. Those businesses that have lending facilities in place should assess whether these have capacity to cope with changed or disrupted cash flows.
In addition, businesses involved in cross-border trade can consider measures that reduce the impact on cash flows. Letters of credit, for instance, have a lesser impact on cash flows than upfront deposits. And the disruption of physical trade flows might require an alignment of the associated cash flows.
With our complete range of trade finance instruments and products, we can assist you with liquidity planning.
Comprehensive policies and protocols essential
The health and safety of employees, clients and other stakeholders needs to be top of mind. Companies should consider separating teams and allowing employees to work remotely, where possible, although the persistence of load-shedding does complicate remote work.
As more employees work from home, connectivity will be key. To enable this, teams could be provided with larger data bundles and afforded remote and secure access to internal systems. Stay connected by accessing prepaid airtime and via Standard Bank Internet banking. We encourage clients to make use of digital channels when transacting and engaging with the bank, where possible.
Reach out in financial distress
We do acknowledge that our business customers are facing challenges in dealing with the disruption to their businesses. We also understand that in any business or personal financial cycle there can be difficulties in meeting financial obligations. This may be heightened especially in times of economic downturns and crisis.
For our Small Enterprise customers (those with a turnover of less than R20 million) whose payments are up to date as at 31 March 2020, have been approved a 3 months payment holiday from 1 April to 30 June 2020 on their Business Loans. Repayment will be structured to capitalise on interest & fees. This is a an automatic adjustment later but there is an opt-out option. There is an opt-out option in need. Click here for more information.
Any of our customers who are in financial distress should contact the bank as soon as possible on 0860 123 000. The sooner the bank is informed, the sooner both parties can find a workable solution to address or resolve issues of financial distress. It is not in Standard Bank’s interest to see a business fail, or a home lost. It is in both parties’ interest to find a workable solution.
Our bankers, relationship managers are in contact with our customers and are there to provide all the support necessary. Our customers all have individual needs and requirements and we will provide all the assistance necessary on a case by case basis.