KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — The banking industry stands ready to assist borrowers/customers in light of the reintroduction of the movement control order (MCO) in several states and federal territories.
In a joint statement yesterday, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) said banks will continue to extend repayment assistance, including an extension of existing moratorium where applicable, to individuals who have been affected by the MCO.
They said banks have also announced an extension of the repayment assistance for victims of the recent floods in several states. Please contact the banks to request for targeted repayment assistance.
It was noted that 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.
“Further, individuals, who are still in employment but have experienced a reduction in income due to the pandemic, may apply to lower their instalment amount in line with their income reduction.
“Specifically for those in the middle 40 per cent of household income group (M40), who are recipients of Bantuan Prihatin National, the banks have agreed to allow self-declarations,” they said.
Meanwhile, individuals in the bottom 40 per cent of household 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 per cent for six months.
For microenterprises with loans/financing where the original facility amount is up to RM150,000, they may request for either a three-month deferment of instalment, or to reduce their instalments by 50 per cent for six months, said the associations.
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 circumstance, they said.
According to the associations, as at December 31, 2020, over 1.3 million applications for repayment assistance had been received, with an approval rate of 95 per cent.
“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.
“The acceptance of the targeted repayment assistance during this period will not appear in the borrowers’/customers’ CCRIS (Central Credit Reference Information System) report,” they said.
ABM chairman and Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said banks remained committed to helping their customers who continue to face challenges in the current environment.
“We are able to customise our financial assistance schemes to the specific circumstances of the 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 said.
AIBIM president and RHB Islamic Bank Bhd CEO Datuk Adissadikin Ali said while entering a challenging period, he is confident that the country is better prepared and so are both the banking fraternity and the public.
“Communications between affected customers and the banks must continue to happen for the benefit of both parties. The payment assistance is still available for those affected,” he said.
The associations also noted that the banking industry is committed to ensuring an easy and convenient process for borrowers/customers to apply or request for repayment assistance.
In most cases, they said borrowers/customers should be able to apply and complete the application online or over the phone and may also apply at bank branches, but are advised to check on their respective banks’ websites for information on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services.
For the safety of borrowers/customers and bank employees, banks are operating with heightened vigilance and adherence to the Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) and encourage the public to carry out their banking transactions via digital channels where possible, they added. — Bernama