Starling introduces Coronavirus Support Scheme to help struggling customers

via AltFi

Starling Bank has launched arranged overdraft interest holidays to its personal account holders who are struggling financially as a result of coronavirus. 

The Coronavirus Support Scheme will mean customers can apply for a three-month interest holiday starting today.

Under the scheme, the bank has said that all interest charged on overdrafts will be waived and it will not be collecting any accumulated interest at the end of the three months.

Customers eligible for the programme will need to prove they have lost income since 10 March 2020 because work has dried up or they are unable to work due to coronavirus.

Both customers currently with an arranged overdraft and those without are eligible to apply to the support programme.

For customers who don’t currently have an overdraft with Starling, it’s removing the interest rate and the maximum monthly charge, currently capped at £2 per month, meaning that customers facing hardship will not be charged for accidentally falling into an unarranged overdraft.

The digital bank has also said it will contact customers on the scheme after two months to remind them they have one month left of the interest holiday.

Helen Bierton, chief banking officer at Starling, said: “We wanted to find a sustainable solution to support our customers who may be facing temporary financial difficulties related to the coronavirus emergency and to tide them over for three months.”

Applications for the Starling Coronavirus Support Scheme are open from today (1 April 2020) and will remain open until 30 June 2020. 

This news comes just a day after it was revealed Starling was to furlough non-essential staff and new hires to the digital challenger bank amid the worsening coronavirus crisis.