Decision on loan moratorium to be announced soon

BANKS have given a commitment to continue assisting borrowers and businesses affected by the impact of Covid-19 on the economy, says Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

The Finance Minister said in the discussions between Bank Negara and the banking sector on the way forward, they had given a commitment to continue assisting the rakyat and businesses that need help in this trying time.

“God willing, a decision will be announced soon, ” he said when replying to a question from Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) on whether the loan moratorium would be extended for another six months.

Tengku Zafrul said 7.7 million individual borrowers or 93% and over 245,000 small and medium enterprises or 95% had benefited from the six-month moratorium which was implemented on April 1.

He said the banks had lost a total of RM6.4bil since the implementation of the moratorium which affected their capacity in providing new loans totalling some RM79bil.

He noted that Malaysia was the only nation and one of the first to implement an automatic loan moratorium in light of cash flow challenges faced by the people and businesses due to the pandemic.

Although some individuals may be able to repay their loans while some businesses have begun operating again, Tengku Zafrul acknowledged that there were some who may have lost their jobs while some sectors remain affected.

“For these groups, targeted assistance is being considered by the banks which are also taking proactive steps in contacting borrowers, ” he said.

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