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Russia's Sberbank offers payment holidays on loans for servicemen

FILE PHOTO: St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's largest lender Sberbank has started arranging payment holidays on loans for servicemen, in line with Russian legislation that seeks to ease the financial burden on those called up to fight in Ukraine.

"From Oct. 7, Sberbank retail clients can apply for a grace period on loan payments as part of a federal law that came into force today," Sberbank said in a statement.

The central bank recommended banks offer payment holidays shortly after President Vladimir Putin announced on Sept. 21 that 300,000 people would be mobilised to boost Russia's military effort.

The law allows for servicemen to receive grace periods on mortgages, consumer and credit card loans for the duration of their service and for 30 days afterwards, Sberbank said.

The payment holidays also apply to family members of those serving in Russia's armed forces.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by David Goodman)