by NUR HANANI AZMAN / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
THE banking industry collaborated with the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) to offer a new co-created scheme called Financial Management and Resilience Programme (URUS) to assist the most vulnerable B50 Malaysians with an estimated contribution value of RM1 billion.
According to the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM), Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), Association of Development Finance Institutions of Malaysia (ADFIM) and AKPK, the scheme is open to individual customers, on application, who are under an existing repayment assistance programme -as at September 30, 2021.
“Customers must be from the B50 income segment. Evidence of household income will be required for customers who are not registered recipients of Bantuan Sara Hidup or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat.
“Other criteria include having experienced either loss of employment or reduction of income of at least 50%. Also, whose loan/financing is still performing (not in arrears exceeding 90 days) as at the date of their application,” they said in a joint statement.
Under URUS, AKPK will provide the customer with a personalised financial plan that is developed holistically, taking into account the customer’s financial circumstances and ability to afford repayment of all the customer’s financing obligations.
The financial plan will encompass the options between an interest/profit waiver for a period of three months, commencing the month following the customer’s onboarding into the scheme or a three month interest/profit waiver together with reduced instalments for a period of up to 24 months in total.
“During this period, customers with unsecured personal loans/financing and credit cards may also benefit from reduced interest/profit rates to help alleviate their financial burden.
“AKPK will help to monitor the financial plan throughout the programme and review the plan with the bank when the financial circumstances of the customer improve. These services are provided to customers for free,” they added.
More details on the URUS scheme will be published on banks’ and AKPK’s websites.
Customers are reminded to be wary of scammers and only apply for any financial assistance through official bank channels.
Bank customers are also advised not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents/representatives of the banks on matters relating to repayment assistance.
Banks and AKPK do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for this purpose.
Based on the definition by the Department of Statistics of Malaysia, B50 income segment is customers with gross household income of RM5,880 or lower.