Still time to apply for assistance, bank associations tell borrowers

The banking industry is offering targeted repayment assistance to individuals and SMEs which face difficulty in repaying their loans.

PETALING JAYA: Two banking associations said today customers who face difficulty in repaying their loans after the moratorium ends today can still apply for assistance.

The six-month moratorium on loan repayments was meant to help Malaysians weather the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) said customers who had not applied for repayment assistance before Oct 1 would need to resume their monthly repayments from next month.

“However, if affected borrowers/customers are unable to resume their loan/financing repayments and require assistance, they may still apply to their banks for assistance,” they said.

Affected borrowers were urged to “act now and don’t delay”.

The associations said the banking industry was offering targeted repayment assistance to affected individuals and SMEs via a targeted extension of the moratorium and repayment flexibility options.

They said the banking industry was aware that while the economy was recovering, many borrowers and customers might still be finding their footing and reorienting themselves amid new realities and uncertainties.

If repayment obligations became a challenge in the coming months, borrowers could discuss alternative repayment arrangements with their banks, they said.

To further assist the public in coming forward to apply for repayment assistance, selected bank branches throughout the country will continue to extend their operating hours on weekdays and open on weekends.

Affected borrowers in areas that are under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) or targeted EMCO (TEMCO) and face constraints in submitting applications may contact their banks for assistance.

The associations said the banking industry had adopted a simplified application and documentation process for targeted repayment assistance and had also ensured that acceptance of the targeted extension of the moratorium and repayment flexibilities during this period would not appear in the CCRIS reports of individuals and SMEs.

They also said the banking industry had already processed the vast majority of applications received, with 98% approval rate for individuals and SMEs as of mid-September.