PETALING JAYA: Individual and microenterprise borrowers, as well as SMEs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, may start applying for the six-month loan repayment moratorium beginning today (Wednesday), in line with the announcement of the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih).
In this regard, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) assured borrowers – whether individuals, microenterprises or SMEs – that opting in for the moratorium or any other repayment packages will be easy with no need for borrowers to provide supporting documentation. Approval will be given automatically.
“In addition to the moratorium, banks will also offer a reduction in instalments and other packages, including to reschedule and restructure financing to suit the specific financial circumstances of borrowers,” BNM said yesterday.
Borrowers can opt in online through a web form or an auto-generated email that will be available on banks’ websites to provide their personal and financing details. Borrowers may also phone their banks and guidance will be provided by the customer service officer. If borrowers are unable to use these digital channels, they may visit their bank branches to submit their request for the moratorium.
However, they are advised to check with the respective banks on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services due to movement restrictions.
The repayment assistance is applicable for financing approved before July 1, 2021.
Borrowers must not have missed instalments by more than 90 days or be subject to bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings at the time the request for repayment assistance is submitted. For clarity, borrowers that are already under a repayment assistance programme and are servicing their financing in accordance with the terms of the programme will be able to opt in for this moratorium.
Individual and SME borrowers who have financing with more than 90 days of missed payments are advised to contact the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) to obtain suitable repayment assistance and free financial advice. SMEs including microenterprises can also request for assistance through AKPK’s dedicated SME Help Desk. The virtual help desk provides free financial advice and facilitates applications for repayment assistance.
“Borrowers are advised that opting for repayment assistance will increase the overall cost of borrowing, as interest/profit will continue to accrue on deferred payments,” BNM said.
Banks are required to provide borrowers with information on how instalment amounts and the financing tenure will be impacted. Where a borrower requests to maintain lower instalments (instead of original instalments) after the moratorium, this would result in the loan tenure being extended. Banks will not charge interest on interest, or profit on profit (i.e. compounding interest/profit), or any penalty interest/profit during the period of assistance.
Borrowers’ Central Credit Reference Information System records will not be affected by any form of repayment assistance received in 2021.
“The banking industry has provided its commitment and assurance to assist borrowers facing financial difficulties due to the lockdown. In this regard, BNM will closely monitor the implementation of the repayment assistance programme by the banking industry.”