Banks take measures for SMEs and health and education sectors
27/08/2021 20:35, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Banks and financial institutions have reacted to the call of the Head of State on reducing interest rates and the need to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with less than 200 employees, in this difficult economic situation.

The Tunisian Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (APTBEF) has announced, to this effect, new measures, at a meeting Friday with President Kais Saied, the Presidency said in a statement.

These measures relate to the application of a maximum interest rate equal to MMR+ 2 on new short-term loans mobilisable excluding overdrafts, for a maximum period of one year, to enable these enterprises to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, resume their activity and preserve jobs.

The banking and financial sector has also committed to pay a conjunctural social aid financed by the World Bank (WB), within the framework of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic without the deduction of commission.

Banks and financial institutions have allocated 160 million dinars, or about 2% of the total gross surplus collected during the year 2020, as part of their social responsibility.

This amount will be injected into health and education fields, including a sum of 50 million dinars to be dedicated to the start of the school year.

The President of the Republic, quoted by the same source, welcomed the commitment of member institutions of the APTBEF for "their patriotism and their rapid response to his previous call, through this series of economic and social measures in these exceptional circumstances faced by Tunisia.

"There is no question of harassment or restriction of activities of businessmen and investors who respect the law; their rights and property will not be affected,» the President reiterated.

Kaïs Saïed had called at his meeting with APTBEF officials on July 31 to lower the interest rate applied by banks.

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