BNM: Applications for loan moratorium to open tomorrow

BNM: Applications for loan moratorium to open tomorrow
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 6): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said applications for the six-month loan moratorium can be made starting tomorrow (July 7), in line with the PEMULIH stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

In a statement, BNM said applications can be made by individuals, microenterprises, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the pandemic, adding that opting in for the moratorium or any other repayment packages will be easy with no need for supporting documentation.

The central bank also gave assurance that approvals will be given automatically.

"In addition to the moratorium, banks will also offer a reduction in instalments and other packages, including to reschedule and restructure financing to suit the specific financial circumstances of borrowers," said the bank.

Borrowers can make their applications through a web form or an auto-generated email that will be available on banks' websites to provide their personal and financing details.

Besides that, those interested may also call their banks and guidance will be provided by the customer service officers, or visit bank branches to submit their requests for the moratorium, although BNM advised these borrowers to check with respective banks on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services due to movement restrictions.

It said the repayment assistance is applicable for financing approved before July 1 and that borrowers must not have missed instalments by more than 90 days or be subject to bankruptcy or winding up proceedings at the time the request for repayment assistance is made.

"For clarity, borrowers that are already under a repayment assistance programme and are servicing their financing in accordance with the terms of the programme will be able to opt in for this moratorium.

"Individual and SME borrowers who have financing with more than 90 days of missed payments are advised to contact Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) to obtain suitable repayment assistance and free financial advice (services.akpk.org.my)," said BNM.

Moreover, SMEs including microenterprises can also request for assistance through AKPK's dedicated SME Help Desk at akpk.org.my/smehelpdesk, which provides free financial advice and facilitates applications for repayment assistance.

However, the bank pointed out that opting for repayment assistance will increase the overall cost of borrowing, as interest/profit will continue to accrue on deferred payments, adding that banks are required to provide borrowers with information on how instalment amounts and the financing tenure will be impacted.

"Where a borrower requests to maintain lower instalments (instead of original instalments) after the moratorium, this would result in the loan tenure being extended for a longer period. Banks will not charge interest on interest, or profit on profit (i.e. compounding interest/profit), or any penalty interest/profit during the period of assistance," it said.

Borrowers' Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records will not be affected by any form of repayment assistance received in 2021, said BNM.

The central bank said it will closely monitor the implementation of the repayment assistance programme by the banking industry, adding that borrowers may contact BNM TELELINK at bnm.my/RAsurvey for complaints in the event they face difficulties with their banks or if instalments increase unreasonably.

Borrowers may also get more information on the enhanced repayment assistance programme by visiting bnm.gov.my/RA and BNM's social media platforms.

S Kanagaraju