‘Loan rejection notice an internal memo’

PETALING JAYA: Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) has acknowledged issuing a notice that oil and gas employees’ personal loan applications will be rejected upfront.

“Yes, it is actually an internal memo,” BSN strategic communications head Puspa Marina Omar told The Star on Thursday.

“The decision we made internally in terms of our operation is in terms of the bank’s business, and is temporary,” she said.

Puspa Marina said the tightening of rules on approvals of new loans and credit products was a precautionary measure.

“It is part of our standard procedure to consistently review developments in the financial and economic sector that may have an impact on our business,” she said.

“This includes taking note of industries facing challenges, such as the situation experienced by the oil and gas industry currently.

“The proposed tightening of loan and credit approvals is a temporary measure in line with the general expectations for prudent risk management,” said Puspa Marina.

However, Puspa Marina said the memo was internal and not meant for public release.

In response to an earlier comment by a BSN customer service representative who said that the notice was fake, Puspa said the memo was only meant for business units and high-level executives.

A screenshot of an email on the leaked BSN notice has been shared on instant messaging platforms.

The email states that: “All personal loans, credit cards, HP (hire purchase) loans for applications from employees from the oil & gas sector to be rejected upfront.”

It also ordered sales executives to stop marketing and accepting applications from oil and gas employees.

The notice does not apply to non-contract employees of Petronas, but their applications would be subject to approval from headquarters. According to the notice, mortgage loan applications and applications which have already been processed, would also require approval from the headquarters.

Puspa Marina said BSN remained focused on preserving the well-being of their customers and stakeholders.

“We will therefore, review all loan and credit issuance policy on a continuous basis for all sectors based on market development. This remains a standard practice for BSN.

“All loans will still be subjected to the required affordability assessment as part of our responsible lending policy as we continue to support retail financing to all other sectors,” she said.