Sharjah Islamic Bank’s Board of Directors rolls out several relief measures across all its branches, to help assist corporate customers and employees to deal with the financial strain caused during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Effective from April 1, 2020, the measures are in line with the guidelines of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and the directives of the Safety and Prevention Department of the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).
According to these measures, any retail customer who was made redundant or failed to receive their salary due to the current economic conditions can request to defer installments for three months at no charge. Smiles’ Credit Cardholders can benefit from a six month installment program with 0% profit for tuition and grocery payments. Customers will also benefit from a six months 0% profit repayment plan for Easy Cash transfers. Moreover, Sharjah Islamic Bank will pay fees of cash withdrawal and balance inquiry from other banks’ ATMs. All beneficiaries with real estate loans can request a deferred payment for one month, while upfront payment will be reduced to 5% for new applicants.
The bank approved reducing the minimum account maintenance balance to AED10,000 and offering support to all corporate clients to help them mitigate the impact the virus has caused to their businesses. The bank invites corporate clients to contact their relationship managers to discuss the available options.
The bank approved increasing the daily withdrawal limit from ATMs to AED15,000 for individual clients and AED25,000 for priority banking clients, to eliminate the need to visit branches.
As part of its preventive measures, the bank launched an internal awareness campaign for employees via different internal communication channels, raising awareness about the virus, its causes, symptoms and prevention. The bank advised employees to adhere to preventive instructions to restrict the spread of the disease, frequently use hand sanitizers, decrease social contact and avoid shaking hands with people.
During this time, the bank is conducting regular cleaning and sterilisation of floors, surfaces, and equipment in the headquarters and branches, ensuring personal and workplace hygiene. Hand sanitizers were placed on counters and front office employees were asked to wear gloves and follow the preventive steps such as keeping a physical distance and avoiding handshake. Any employee projecting symptoms are requested to notify the employer and stay home.
HE Mohammed Abdullah, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, emphasised how employee and customer wellness is of top priority during these present circumstances. "All the bank departments have started taking workplace safety measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, ensure uninterrupted work in all branches and provide the banking services easily and efficiently to clients,” he said.
He added that a work plan was adopted to ensure the provision of banking services to customers, with a focus on activating the remote work policy to as many headquarters-based employees as possible. In addition, preventive measures were adopted in all branches, including using thermometers to measure the temperature of each employee and guest.
He added that the bank offers a full package of online services through the official website www.sib.ae, and the smartphone application and supports online payment through Samsung Pay or Apple Pay to help clients save time and effort and complete their payment without visiting branches. In addition, the bank offers round the clock phone banking services. Dial 06-5999999 to avail these services.
He clarified that clients should protect their accounts from hackers and scammers, avoid telephone and email phishing and malware, keep their personal information and account details safe and buy online only from reliable suppliers.
Sharjah Islamic Bank is constantly striving to provide all the online services and facilities designed to meet the current requirements of retail and corporate clients, in support of the national efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, under the hashtag #Abiding..nation.