Borrowers and customers’ CCRIS records will remain unaffected by opting in for this moratorium
by NUR HANANI AZMAN / graphic by TMR
BANKS will waive the compounded interest and penalty charges during the six-month loan moratorium under the National People’s Wellbeing and Economic Recovery Package.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz advised the public to report if the banks raise a compound (interest) and charge a penalty on the moratorium.
“Each bank has a different scheme and borrowers need to discuss this with their respective banks,” he told a press conference yesterday.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday announced a six-month moratorium on loan repayments for individual borrowers across all income brackets.
The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (Aibim) said their member banks will be offering the six-month moratorium from July 7.
In a joint statement, the associations said they are aware that the people continue to face financial challenges due to the ongoing lockdown under Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan.
“Our member banks will be offering a moratorium on the instalments of all credit facilities (excluding credit cards) for all bottom 40%, middle 40% and top 20% borrowers and customers, microenterprises, small and medium enterprises that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic on an opt-in basis.
“For credit card facilities, banks will offer to convert the outstanding balances into a three-year term loan or financing with reduced interest or profit rates to help borrowers better manage their debt,” it said.
Under the scheme, borrowers or customers are only required to contact their banks to benefit from the moratorium and approval will be given automatically.
Banks are committed to make the process as easy and seamless as possible with no supporting documentation requested upfront for approval purposes.
They added that the moratorium is applicable to loans or financing approved before July 1 and not in arrears for more than 90 days on the date the request for moratorium is submitted to the bank.
The associations said borrowers or customers who wish to take up this moratorium must contact their banks from July 7 onwards.
Due to the ongoing movement restrictions, borrowers or customers are strongly encouraged to contact their banks through official digital channels such as the banks’ website, via email or over the phone.
“If they are unable to use the banks’ digital channels, they may visit the bank branches to submit their request for the moratorium.
“However, they are advised to check on their respective banks’ website for information on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services in view of the continuing restrictions,” they said.
They added that banks will strive to process all moratorium requests in the shortest time possible.
However, given the possible large volume of requests and the lockdown constraints on working protocols, there may be some initial operational challenges.
“Customers can rest assured of the full commitment by member banks to ensuring all issues will be addressed on a timely basis,” they said.
ABM and Aibim said as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia, borrowers and customers’ Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records will remain unaffected by opting in for this moratorium.
“As such, they do not have to worry about the impact on their future credit profile,” the associations said.
Furthermore, they added that Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) is ready to provide advice and guidance to both individual borrowers and customers and microenterprises, including options for debt restructuring.
In addition to contacting the banks, microenterprises can also request for assistance through AKPK’s dedicated micro business help desk at www.akpk.org.my/microhelpdesk.
The virtual help desk provides free financial advice and facilitates applications for repayment assistance.
Borrowers whose request for a moratorium is rejected by the banks or are still facing difficulties after consultation can contact BNMTelelink at bnm.my/RAsurvey.
Additionally, borrowers and customers should be wary of scammers and only opt in for this moratorium through official bank channels.
“Borrowers and customers are advised not to deal with any third parties claiming to be bank agents or representatives on matters relating to this new moratorium.
“ABM and Aibim member banks do not appoint third parties for this purpose,” they said.