KUALA LUMPUR: Member banks of the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) will continue to offer financial assistance to borrowers affected by the latest movement control order (MCO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the association said any individual customers who have lost employment are eligible for financial assistance under the Targeted Repayment Assistance (TRA) programme.
“Customers who have lost their employment are eligible for loan deferment (moratorium) for a period of three months or 50% reduction in the monthly installment payment for a period of six months, ” it added.
Currently, member banks of ABM offer financial assistance under the TRA programme, which has been in place since Oct 1,2020.
Meanwhile, the association also noted that customers who have experienced a reduction in income including household income are also eligible for a commensurate reduction in monthly installments.
“B40 borrowers who are registered under Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR) are eligible to opt for this specific repayment assistance, ” it said.
Micro-enterprises with loan facilities of not more than RM150,000 can also opt for this repayment assistance.
Moreover, it said that micro-enterprises can also request for assistance through Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit’s (AKPK) dedicated micro business helpdesk at www.akpk.org.my/microhelpdesk.
“The virtual helpdesk provides free financial advice and facilitates applications for repayment assistance, ” ABM pointed out.
Moving forward, the TRA programme has been expanded to include all small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses that are not permitted to operate during the latest MCO.
“All affected borrowers including individuals, micro-enterprises and SMEs who wish to avail of this latest TRA only need to contact their respective banks to indicate which option they want to choose.
“The banks will automatically approve all selections by borrowers that fulfill the criteria stated above, ” it added.
ABM added that member banks have made it convenient for borrowers to opt for financial assistance by simplifying the process for the TRA programme.
In view of the movement restrictions, ABM said that affected borrowers can also opt for the financial assistance package at bank branches, online or over the phone, adding that customers should check their respective banks’ websites for information on any changes in operating hours and over-the-counter services.
Meanwhile, borrowers’ central credit reference information system (CCRIS) records would not be affected by the TRA programme received this year, according to Bank Negara. Hence, borrowers need not worry about the impact on their future credit profile.
ABM has urged all affected borrowers, including SMEs, to come forward and contact their banks via the banks’ official channels to discuss the best options available.
As a reminder, the association advised borrowers to be wary of scammers and apply for financial assistance through official bank channels.
It also cautioned borrowers not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents or representatives of banks with regards to repayment assistance.
“Our member banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for purposes of the repayment assistance, ” ABM said.
Under the TRA programme, banks have received 1.6 million applications, of which 95% have been approved up till March 26,2021.