Banks have enough capacity to extend targeted moratorium — Abdul Rahim

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 12): Banks in the country are capable of extending the targeted moratorium period from October to December 2020, as they have adequate buffers.

Deputy Finance Minister I Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said every moratorium extension decision announced by the government was regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and entailed the involvement of the Association of Banks in Malaysia.

So far RM66 billion out of RM100 billion allocated under the economic stimulus packages announced by the government had been used by banks for the moratorium assistance, he said in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) at the Dewan Rakyat today.

To a supplementary question from Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) on whether the borrowers who failed to repay their loans after the moratorium period is over would be subject to legal action, Abdul Rahim said the lawsuit would be avoided.

"The process we are doing now is implementing a targeted moratorium. Many will receive benefits, while legal proceedings against these borrowers will be avoided.

"To borrowers who have (loan related) problems, they can visit the Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) for advice," he said.

For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) facing business financing problem with financial institutions, he said they could seek assistance from BNM’s Small Depth Resolution Scheme (SDRS).

"With the steps taken, I think there is a small possibility that legal action might be taken against individual borrowers or SMEs," he said.

The SDRS is a scheme to provide assistance to viable SMEs that are constrained by impaired financing, as well as those facing financial difficulties with financing from financial institutions by facilitating restructuring or rescheduling of existing financing facilities, and where appropriate, to provide new financing.