Banks continue to offer repayment assistance, including extending existing moratorium, say ABM and AIBIM

Banks continue to offer repayment assistance, including extending existing moratorium, say ABM and AIBIM
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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 18): The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) said banks will continue to extend repayment assistance, including an extension of the existing moratorium where applicable, to individuals affected by the current movement control order (MCO).

The associations said in a joint statement yesterday that the banking industry stands ready to assist borrowers/customers in light of the reintroduction of the MCO in a number of states and federal territories.

They said the banks had also announced an extension of the repayment assistance for victims of recent floods in several states.

According to the associations, the extension will apply to all targeted repayment assistance schemes announced previously.

In particular, borrowers/customers who have lost their jobs, in 2020 or 2021, can apply for payment relief for a period of three months any time on or before June 30, 2021, they said.

Further, individuals who are still in employment but have experienced a reduction in income due to the Covid-19 pandemic may apply to lower their instalment amount in line with their income reduction, said the associations.

Specifically for those in the middle 40% income group (M40) who are recipients of Bantuan Prihatin National, the banks have agreed to allow self-declarations.

Meanwhile, individuals in the bottom 40% income group (B40) who are registered in the Bantuan Sara Hidup or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat database may request for either a three-month deferment of instalment, or to reduce their instalments by 50% for six months.

The associations also noted microenterprises with loans/financing where the original facility amount is up to RM150,000 may request for either a three-month deferment of instalment, or to reduce their instalments by 50% for six months.

They said the repayment assistance for B40, M40 and microenterprises are applicable for loans/financing approved before Oct 1, 2020 and are not in arrears for more than 90 days on the date the request for repayment assistance is submitted to the bank.

All other borrowers/customers facing difficulties in making loan/financing repayments are also welcome to contact their banks to discuss suitable repayment assistance packages that meet their specific circumstances, they said.

According to the associations, as at Dec 31, 2020, over 1.3 million applications for repayment assistance had been received, with an approval rate of 95%.

“In this regard, given this challenging period, the banking industry would like to encourage borrowers/customers with existing repayment assistance arrangements who have difficulties resuming their regular instalment schedules to approach the banks for further repayment assistance,” they said.

They highlighted the acceptance of the targeted repayment assistance during this period will not appear in the borrowers’/customers’ CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) report.

ABM chairman and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said banks remain committed to helping their customers who continue to face challenges in the current environment.

“We are able to customise our financial assistance schemes to specific circumstances of borrowers so that they can quickly stabilise their financial situation and focus on other aspects of their lives which may need more pressing attention,” he added.

AIBIM president and RHB Islamic Bank Bhd CEO Dato' Adissadikin Ali said, while entering a challenging period, he is confident the country is better prepared and so are both the banking fraternity and the public at large.

“Communications between affected customers and the banks must continue to happen to ensure the benefit of both parties. The payment assistance is still available for those affected,” he added.

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Covid-19: BNM says borrowers can request loan-repayment moratorium, CCRIS report won’t be affected

Surin Murugiah