Individuals and SMEs urged not to delay until last minute to start negotiations and apply for assistance from banks
by DASHVEENJIT KAUR/ pic by MZUKRI MOHAMAD
BANKS have approved a total of 109,172 post-loan moratorium financial repayment assistance requests for individuals since Aug 7, said Deputy Finance Minister II Mohd Shahar Abdullah.
In total, 139,424 applications for financing repayment assistance by individual customers were received within two weeks, he noted.
As for small and medium enterprise (SME) customers, including micro-entrepreneurs, Mohd Shahar said a total of 5,017 applications were received — 4,300 approved.
“Most banks have implemented an extended programme of targeted moratoriums and financing repayment flexibility starting Aug 7, 2020.
“All banks have shared information and details about this move on their website. As of Aug 21, banks have contacted about 1,015,848 borrowers comprising 908,773 individuals, 94,685 SMEs and 12,390 other companies including corporate and commercial businesses to offer financing repayment assistance.”
With 29 days left before the automatic loan moratorium comes to an end, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and banking institutions are offering assistance to those in need.
“The public do not need to worry as the flexibility given to borrowers during this period will not appear in the borrower’s Central Credit Reference Information System report.
“As a result of my meetings with bank representatives recently I was informed that banks are ready to provide assistance and are already processing (members of the) public’s applications, however, the response received is still not as expected.”
Mohd Shahar’s main concern is that individuals and SMEs are delaying until the last minute to start negotiations and apply for assistance from banks.
“The public and SMEs should remember that banks need time to process assistance applications submitted, which generally takes one to five days for individual customers and three days to two weeks for SMEs.”
Mohd Shahar urged the public to immediately take action and go to their respective banks to confirm the assistance, especially for borrowers still needing post-moratorium assistance, to avoid deteriorating credit records after September.
Among the measures provided by BNM and the bank institution include three months of extended financing moratorium for individuals who lost their jobs in 2020 and are still jobless.
There is also an option of reducing financing instalments for those who experienced salary reduction for at least six months, depending on the type of financing, and payment of interest only for a specified period of time as well as extension of the entire financing period to reduce monthly repayments.
According to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz in the recent Laksana report, the value of the moratorium on loan repayments by financial institutions stood at RM74.3 billion as at Aug 14, 2020.
Out of this figure, a total of RM26 billion was utilised by the business sector, while RM48.3 billion was utilised by the people.
This moratorium, which came into effect on April 1, 2020, will cease at the end of this month.