- Actions being taken to protect the Bank’s customers and staff, and minimize disruption of operations
- All main financial services are available remotely for customers
- Individual approach for corporate and SME customers
- Granting 3 - 6 month grace period on principal for private individuals, with each case being assessed individually
- Seniors are encouraged to pay bills by phone
In light of the global coronavirus pandemic and government imposed measures to minimize further spread of the virus, Citadele has taken extensive precautionary measures to protect the Bank’s employees, clients and partners, and implemented a series of actions to minimize disruption to the Group’s operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Encouraging customers to use financial services remotely
The health, safety and well-being of our customers and employees are the Bank’s top priorities. Citadele continues to encourage clients to use the Bank’s remote financial services 24/7. All main financial services are available remotely through the Bank’s MobileApp, website or remote customer service centre ‘SkyBranch’, which offers clients six different channels for communication.
To ensure that seniors, who are at the highest risk, can access all services remotely, Citadele has introduced a lower commission fee on making payments via phone, which is also significantly lower than the fee for this service in person.
Currently, most of our branches remain open, and from March 20 will move to appointment only. A number of additional infection prevention and security measures have been introduced in our branch network. Information campaigns to increase the usage of remote banking services is already reducing customer flow in our branches, thereby lowering the risk of spreading infection. Public and customer communication is in place to update clients on the Bank’s actions and measures in response to the current situation.
The Bank works in accordance with the rules and recommendations issued by official authorities. Citadele’s management team communicates on a daily basis and has introduced a number of actions to minimize disruption of operations and to ensure maximum safety for our employees. Most of the Bank’s head-office and back-office employees are working from home remotely. Critical service units have remote access, and employees who have to work on-site are divided into separate groups working at different times to minimize potential physical interactions and ensure business continuity.
Grace period for loan repayments on principal
Private individuals who are not able to fulfil their loan obligations due to current conditions can apply to receive a grace period on loan repayments for 3 to 6 months on principal, with each case being assessed individually. This applies to mortgages, consumer loans and leasing.
For corporate and SME clients, each business is evaluated on a case-by-case basis to assess the financial situation. The Bank will determine jointly with clients on whether to lower loan repayments, in order to help entrepreneurs support their businesses in current market conditions.
Bearing in mind that the Latvian government has announced the granting of additional funding to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, Citadele is currently awaiting more detailed information on whether ALTUM Development Finance Institution can be involved in loan restructuring or other solutions.
Impact on Citadele annual financial results
As of today, Citadele maintains strong capital and liquidity ratios well above regulatory requirements. The Bank’s management team continues to proactively assess and evaluate potential business impacts from the current environment, while most importantly ensuring the safety of our customers and staff. The Bank will continue to provide notices to the public in the event of further details or changes to the situation.
Citadele’s mission is to modernise the banking sector and to offer more opportunities to clients and businesses throughout the Baltics. Our aim is to become the Baltic banking champion.
Alongside classic and universal banking services, Citadele offers its clients a range of services based on next-generation financial technologies, including its modern mobile app, contactless payments and instant payments, and 24/7 customer support through SkyBranch. Citadele was also the first in the Baltics to introduce customer account opening with a selfie, and payments to mobile numbers.
Citadele is the third largest bank in Latvia by the number of clients. The Citadele group is managed from Latvia. Its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.