More than 80,000 Capitec Bank clients stand to receive more than R160m from the bank in the form of interest refunds.

In a statement this week, the bank said that as a financial relief measure it offered a three-month 100% refund on interest incurred during payment breaks to all clients who took up its Covid-19 payment break or rescheduling relief plan between March 27 and July 19 2020.

“The refunds are part of Capitec’s drive to help alleviate financial pressure on clients during the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement read.

Capitec CEO Gerrie Fourie said: “While payment holidays offer temporary relief, loans still incur interest, which adds to the total cost of credit. We want to help our clients as much as possible during this time, which is why we waivered the interest for the relief period for clients who met the qualifying criteria.”

Fourie said to qualify for the interest rebate, clients had to honour their loan instalments after the relief period.“After six months of successful loan repayments, a refund equal to 50% of the interest charged on the loan during the three months is paid directly into the client’s loan account. After a further six months’ successful repayments, another 50% of the interest charged during the first three months will be refunded.”

He said more than R60m is being refunded this month as 50% of the interest to nearly 40,000 clients who honoured six months of loan repayments.

“This is also our way of rewarding our clients for meeting their loan repayments and showing good financial behaviour during a tough time. By successfully completing their repayments, these clients are not only enjoying a 100% interest refund, but they have also kept their credit records in good standing.”

Last year a number of SA’s major banks introduced various measures to assist consumers who were affected financially by the coronavirus disaster and the lockdown intended to curb its spread.

Most of the assistance was in the form of three-month debt holidays on loans ranging from mortgages to credit card balances. Some consumers received payment holidays, while others have to apply to their banks.