Bank Islam to provide RM1b financing to healthcare professionals
Bank Islam CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed

by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by ARIF KARTONO

BANK Islam Malaysia Bhd is targeting to provide RM1 billion in financing to healthcare professionals in the year ahead through collaborations with healthcare associations.

The bank signed memoranda of understanding with six healthcare professional associations yesterday, in a bid to provide total banking solutions to complement the needs of the associations’ members.

“There are about 18,000 members across the associations. We are targeting to provide financing to about 12,000 healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs.

“This is an increase of 5,000 to 6,000 more from 7,500 members who have already taken their financing facilities with us,” Bank Islam CEO Mohd Muazzam Mohamed (picture) told reporters after the signing ceremony in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

The associations collaborating with the bank are the Malaysian Medical Association, Ibnu Sina’s Medical Charity Organisation of Malaysia, Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, Association of Malaysian Optometrists, Malaysian Private Dental Practitioners’ Association and Veterinary Association Malaysia.

Through the collaborations, Bank Islam is offering total financing solutions via its Personal Financing-i product valued up to RM300,000 and a maximum of 10 years’ tenure.

Also provided are financing and refinancing of fixed assets, mainly on commercial lots and cash management solutions.

Mohd Muazzam said the partnerships will create more room for exploration and a better understanding of financial needs in regard to capitalisation of expertise for mutual benefit.

“Bank Islam is known to be a strong player in the retail segment, with two of its most significant retail portfolio being government servants and employees of government-linked companies.

“Therefore, these collaborations will provide us with the opportunity to venture into a new market segment, that is, the professional group,” he explained.

To date, the banking group has received between 11,000 and 12,000 applications for an extension of the loan moratorium, which ends on Sept 30.

The number is much lower than anticipated, Mohd Muazzam said, adding that more applicants are expected to come forward towards the end of the month.

“We have identified and contacted the customers who lost their jobs or had their salary reduced as a result of the Movement Control Order.

“We have also opened various channels and simplified the procedures for customers who are still in need of further assistance; however, the number that has responded is very small,” he said.

For the bank’s business segment involving RM1.8 billion in total financing, only about 70% of clients have taken up the automatic moratorium and to date, only 150 customers have applied for further financial assistance.

Bank Islam has about 380,000 retail customers and over 1,000 business customers.

The six-month blanket loan moratorium was imposed in April to help individuals and companies mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government later said a three-month extension and assistance would be given to targeted groups.