Ambank join other banks to kick-start Urus

The programme provides a targeted scheme that benefits B50 customers in need with their repayment obligations

by AZREEN HANI / Pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

AMBANK (M) Bhd continues to be ready to help customers in need and navigate their financial challenges by offering the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (Urus).

“Over these past close to two years, we have prioritised the needs of our customers in navigating the challenges of the pandemic. These are still challenging times and we are pleased to continue offering assistance through Urus,” said Ambank group CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir in a statement yesterday.

“Urus provides a targeted scheme that rightly benefits B50 (bottom 50% income earners) customers in need with their repayment obligations,” he added.

As of October 2021, Sulaiman said the bank has extended approximately RM31 billion in repayment assistance for loans and financing, and approved close to 100% of these applications.

Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said last month that the ministry welcomes Urus, a comprehensive loan repayment assistance programme jointly designed by the banking sector and the Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK), as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Oct 13.

Urus is offered to affected B50 borrowers with a gross household income of less than RM5,880 a month. Its benefits include interest waiver for three months, reduction in instalment payments for a period of up to 24 months and reduction in interest rates.

During this period, customers with unsecured personal financing and credit cards can also benefit from reduced interest rates to help ease their financial burden.

This programme is in collaboration with AKPK.

“We are pleased to be part of Urus particularly given the fact that the focus is not just on financial relief.

“Urus is a holistic programme that importantly places emphasis on much needed financial planning assistance for borrowers to allow them take remedial steps as they work towards bettering their financial position,” Sulaiman said further.

“It is the right step in the sector’s journey towards providing sustainable long-term solutions for fiscal challenges.”

For customers who are not eligible for any of the aforementioned schemes or would require other forms of assistance, Ambank is also providing tailored repayment assistance, which suits the financial needs and circumstances of these customers, as part of its initiative to help alleviate the financial burden of customers in need.

RHB Bank also opened the Urus application for its customers, saying that it will remain until Jan 31, 2022.

“We empathise with the challenges faced by our customers most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are committed to continue offering assistance to ease their financial burden.

“We also urge customers who are not eligible for the programme to contact us if they are still facing financial difficulty to further discuss their financial needs,” RHB Banking group MD and CEO Datuk Khairussaleh Ramli said.

As at end-October 2021, the group has provided more than 300,000 retail and over 14,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) customers with repayment or payment assistance amounting to RM44.5 billion.

CIMB Bank Bhd said a fully digital e-form has been made available on CIMB’s dedicated Covid-19 support page, https://www. cimb.com.my/covid19support, for the eligible customers to apply for the programme.

“The banking industry, including CIMB, is pleased to collaborate with AKPK on a comprehensive financial support programme that is specially tailored to the most vulnerable borrowers’ segment.

“CIMB remains committed to help our borrowers overcome their financial burdens caused by the pandemic and transition into a recovery phase in a holistic manner to promote their long-term financial resilience,” CIMB group CEO Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said.

To qualify for Urus, eligible B50 borrowers must be currently undergoing an existing repayment assistance programme as at Sept 30, 2021, and fulfil some criteria such as experiencing loss of employment or reduction of income of at least 50%, among others.

As of early November 2021, CIMB has processed around 520,000 financial payment relief assistance applications for individual, SMEs and business banking borrowers, amounting to RM92 billion in total gross loan value.