Bank Rakyat gives moratorium on RM6 bil loan repayments

Bank Rakyat says it is refraining from collecting RM1 billion every month during the six-month moratorium period.

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Rakyat has granted its customers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic a moratorium on repayments totalling RM6 billion.

Its chief executive officer Rosman Mohamed said the country’s largest Islamic cooperative bank was refraining from collecting about RM1 billion every month during the six-month moratorium period.

Despite the huge amount involved, he said, the effort was necessary to help those impacted by the outbreak.

“Assistance should not only come from the government, the whole community must chip in. Everyone must give their support in getting the economy back on track,” he said on Bernama TV’s “Ruang Bicara” programme yesterday.

However, Rosman said Bank Rakyat would be strict in terms of follow-ups and debt recovery after the moratorium period.

“We are studying ways to ensure we can collect on the loans. We will do so tactfully but, at the same time, we must also give advice to the borrowers. This is a shared responsibility. If you want Bank Rakyat to be successful, if you want the bank to keep paying dividends, taxes and zakat, then it needs to move forward,” he said.

The bank has about 900,000 shareholders, 70% of whom are in the B40 household income group.

He said the bank would ensure “some flexibility” in terms of repayment for borrowers from the B40 group who faced difficulties paying back even after the end of the moratorium period.

In addition to the moratorium as part of the Prihatin economic stimulus package, Bank Rakyat has allocated RM300 million under the Bank Rakyat Cares (BRCares) campaign that runs until Sept 30.

The campaign focuses on helping cooperatives, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), women entrepreneurs and micro businesses as well as retail-based businesses affected by the pandemic.

Borrowers are given a nine-month grace period before they repay their first instalment, Rosman said.

Bank Rakyat, which has about 1.3 million customers and RM109 billion in assets, reported a group net profit of RM1.15 billion for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2019, and declared a 14% dividend.

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