KUALA LUMPUR: Banks will offer a six-month moratorium on the installment of all credit facilities (excluding credit cards) for individuals, all microenterprises; and all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), said the moratorium for these categories, including all individuals offered (all B40, M40 and T20 borrowers/customers) will be on an opt-in basis.
“For credit card facilities, banks will offer to convert the outstanding balances into a three-year term loan/financing with reduced interest/profit rates to help borrowers better manage their debt, ” they said.
The moratorium was in line with the announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday on the Pakej Perlindungan Rakyat dan Pemulihan Ekonomi (PEMULIH package).
ABM and AIBIM said the moratorium reflected the member banks’ continued commitment to provide comprehensive support to its borrowers and customers.
Under the scheme, borrowers/customers are only required to contact their banks to opt in to benefit from the moratorium and approval will be given automatically to all borrowers/customers in the above categories.
Banks are committed to make the process as easy and seamless as possible with no supporting documentation requested upfront for approval purposes.
“The automatic moratorium is applicable for loans/financing approved before July 1 and are not in arrears for more than 90 days on the date the request for moratorium is submitted to the bank, ” they said.
Borrowers/customers who wish to take up this moratorium will need to contact their banks from July 7, 2021 onwards.
Due to the ongoing movement restrictions, borrowers/customers are strongly encouraged to contact their banks through official digital channels such as the banks’ website, via email or over the phone. If borrowers/ customers are unable to use the banks’ digital channels, they may also visit the bank branches to submit their requests for the moratorium.
However, the customers are advised to check on their respective banks' websites for information on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services in view of the continuing restrictions owing to the pandemic.
“Banks will strive to process all requests for moratorium in the shortest time possible. However, given the possible large volume of requests and the lockdown constraints on working protocols that all member banks are operating under, there may be some initial operational challenges.
“Borrowers/customers can rest assured of the full commitment by member banks to ensure all issues will be addressed on a timely basis, ” they said.
They also highlighted that as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia, borrowers’/customers’ Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records will remain unaffected by opting in for this moratorium. As such, borrowers/customers do not have to worry about the impact on their future credit profile.
Further, Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) stands ready to provide the necessary advice and guidance to both individual borrowers/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 helpdesk at www.akpk.org.my/microhelpdesk.
The virtual helpdesk provides free financial advice and facilitates applications for repayment assistance.
Any affected borrowers who have had their requests for moratorium rejected by the banks or are still facing difficulties after consultation with their banks can contact BNMTELELINK at bnm.my/RAsurvey.
“Borrowers/customers are reminded to be wary of scammers and only opt in for this moratorium through official bank channels.
“Borrowers/customers are also advised not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents/representatives of the banks on matters relating to this new moratorium. ABM and AIBIM member banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for purposes of the moratorium, ” they said.