Coronavirus Update: Saudi Arabia Requires Lenders To Help Companies; British Startups Ask Gov’t For COVID-19 Assistance


Governments are aiming to help companies amid the coronavirus, while executives are taking measures to contend with the crisis. Here are the latest updates on COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, around the world.

The central bank of Saudi Arabia is requiring lenders to offer concessional loans to companies struggling with COVID-19’s impact so they won’t have to reduce their workforces, Bloomberg reported. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) seeks to have banks implement a lending program right away for a minimum of half a year to “assist in maintaining employment levels,” per a document seen by the outlet. And, to help banks act in response to COVID-19, SAMA also delayed the fulfillment of outstanding Basel III standards. Central banks globally have put forward emergency stimulus packages as the coronavirus is making governments limit global travel and enter into complete lockdown.

In other news, tech startups in the U.K.are asking the government for assistance to help them live through the COVID-19 crisis, CNBC reported. The government has rolled out a $409 billion loan program and other relief efforts to help companies steer clear of falling apart under newly appointed Finance Minister Rishi Sunak. Many British startups, however, claim they can’t get access to that kind of funding because they need to show they would be “viable” companies if it wasn’t for the coronavirus disruption — a move that could leave out companies that put more emphasis on growth over profits. The U.K. has been on lockdown since March 23.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Walt Disney Co., Bob Chapek, will take a pay reduction of 50 percent in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, The Hollywood Reporter reported, citing an email sent by Chapek. Executive Chairman Robert Iger, for his part, will do without his full salary. In addition, other executives in the company will have pay reductions. Chapek’s email states, per the outlet, “effective April 5, all VPs will have their salaries reduced by 20 percent, SVPs by 25 percent and EVPs and above by 30 percent.” The report surfaced after the firm decided to maintain the closure of its North American theme parks.

And, British restaurant chain Carluccio’s has gone into administration, a form of bankruptcy, after the government closed all eateries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Associated Press reported. The directors of the chain arrived at the point to bring in administrators “after a sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the broader issues currently facing the U.K.’s retail and hospitality sector.” Carluccio’s, which served Italian cuisine, started its existence in 1991 in Central London and grew to 71 eateries throughout the nation.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.