In the wake the novel coronavirus Covid-19 epidemic, the Singapore branch of the financial services corporation, HSBC Singapore (HSBC) will assist firms by speeding up the handling of urgent payments and providing cash management advice in order to aid firms in their liquidity and cash management.
On Friday (21 Feb), HSBC made a media statement: “In the face of Covid-19, many Singapore businesses are facing payment disruption and challenges in transitioning to their liquidity management business continuity plans (BCP)… HSBC Singapore’s measures are designed to ease the impact felt by corporate treasuries and support the ongoing collection, handling and deployment of cash.”
For example, firms may find themselves needing to move cash monitoring, procurement and expense claims from paper-based systems to digital platforms swiftly or establish new services such as virtual accounts and virtual cards.
With the aim to facilitate these processes, HSBC put together cash and liquidity management BCP advisory team whose task is to assist clients to identify and solve gaps in their treasury BCP models.
Added to this, clients that need expedited manual payment handling on a case-by-case basis will be prioritised by HSBC, such as firms that need urgent support due to the cancellation of orders.
Also, physical meetings will not be necessary as HSCB will permit that documents be submitted digitally. A 90-day moratorium for the submission of originally signed documents will be granted to firms because the Covid-19 outbreak may cause delays in the submission process.
Previously, HSBC alongside several other banks in the country have announced their initiatives to assist firms as they weather the storm of the Covid-19 outbreak. Banks that are rolling out their intitiatives include OCBC, DBS, UOB, Standard Chartered and CIMB. These initiatives include a series of trade support measures.
The trade support measures were introduced on Friday (14 Feb) and they include issuing shipping guarantee within one hour instead of the standard “same-day” issuance, extending maturity to current trade loans summing up to S$600 million to lighten company cash flow pressure, granting waiver of amendment fees on Letters of Credit that are delayed, as well as boosting digital support for online trade applications.