Banks may restrict number of customers to prevent spread of virus

Bank Negara Malaysia has urged those facing trouble repaying their loans to contact their banks to arrange for ‘alternative repayment measures’. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today said all banks will remain open during the movement control period, but some banks may limit the number of people entering their premises due to Covid-19.

In a statement, the central bank said the banking providers might impose “crowd containment and management measures” so as to ensure the safety and health of the bank staff and customers during this period.

BNM said while all ATMs and other machines of all banks would be available for use, it was best that the public used online banking services so as to facilitate social distancing, including the use of e-wallets to make payments.

On a different note, the central bank said those facing trouble repaying their loans should contact their banks immediately to arrange for “alternative repayment measures”.

BNM also said non-bank money changers would open for three days a week to facilitate remittance and foreign exchange.

“The Malaysian financial market will remain accessible and open as per regular trading hours throughout this period.

“To this end, BNM will continue to provide sufficient liquidity in the foreign exchange, bond and money markets to ensure uninterrupted financial intermediation,” it said.

BNMLink, the central bank’s six offices around the country where users can check their credit report and get other services, will be closed for the next 14 days.

Last night, the government announced a ban on mass gatherings for religious, sports, social and cultural activities and the closure of schools, government and business premises from tomorrow until the end of the month.

Only essential services and supermarkets, public markets, sundry shops and mini markets will remain open.

This is part of a movement control measure to minimise the impact of the novel coronavirus or Covid-19.