Banks to provide RM1bil financial assistance to vulnerable B50 customers

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's banking industry has announced that it is setting aside about RM1bil for an extended financial assistance sceheme to fund the cost of interest and profit waivers or reductions for the vulnerable B50 customer segment.

The country's bank associations issued the joint statement following the Prime MInister's comments yesterday on the financial assistance scheme, which is a collaboration between the banking industry and the Credit Management Agency (AKPK).

The scheme, called the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (URUS), is open to individual customers on application who are under an existing repayment assistance programme as at Sept 30, 2021.

Customers must be from the B50 income segment with a gross household income of RM5,880 or lower and have experienced either loss of employment or at least 50% reduction in income.

Further, the customers' loan/financing must be performing and not in arrears exceeding 90 days as at the date of their application.

Under URUS, the Counselling and Credit Management Agency (AKPK) will provide the customer with either the option of an interest/profit waiver for three months commencing from the date of onboarding the scheme or a three-month interest/profit waiver 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," said the banks.

It added that 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 the customer for free.

Individual customers who fulfil the criteria can apply for URUS through one of their banks starting from Nov 15, 2021, until Jan 31, 2022.

"As the economy is gradually opening up and recovering, we expect businesses to recover and this will result in higher employment and therefore income.

"While time is required for the full impact of recovery to take place, banks remain committed to provide assistance to all affected customers.

"Customers who do not satisfy the criteria for URUS are advised to contact their respective banks to discuss other financial repayment options that suit their own individual financial circumstances," said the banks.

More details on the URUS scheme can be found on banks' and AKPK's webites.
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