Turkish Banks Suspend Loan Payments to Ease Virus Fallout

Turkish banks on Monday offered customers some relief from debt repayments and pledged more cash, the latest steps in the campaign to limit the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, Bloomberg News reported. State lenders including Ziraat Bank, Halkbank and Vakifbank allowed clients to postpone repaying debt by three months. Banks also pledged to restructure existing loans to give companies grace periods of as long as 12 months when they aren’t required to make any payments. The measures are part of a government-backed campaign to extend financial assistance to companies to prevent them from cutting jobs. Turkey has shut down tens of thousands of businesses to slow the spread of the virus as deaths rose to 37 and the number of infected patients climbed to 1,529, according to the latest data on Monday. Isbank, Turkey’s largest private lender by assets, Akbank and Yapi Kredi also allowed clients to postpone loan repayments until June 30. Read more