PETALING JAYA: The banking industry has collaborated with the Credit Counselling and Management Agency (AKPK) to extend financial assistance to “Bottom 50” (B50) customers struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic by introducing the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (Urus).

For the collaboration, the banking industry is collectively represented through the Association of Banks in Malaysia, Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia and Association of Development Finance Institutions of Malaysia.

Urus has an allocation of RM1 billion to fund the cost of the reduction in interest/profit costs including interest/profit waiver for B50 customers to regain their financial footing.

The scheme is open for application to individual customers, who are under an existing repayment assistance programme (Targeted Repayment Assistance, Pemerkasa Plus, Pemulih, etc) as at Sept 30, 2021 and meet the following criteria:

► are from the B50 income segment, customers with gross household income of RM5,880 or lower;

► have experienced either loss of employment or a reduction of income of at least 50%;

► whose loan/financing is still performing (not in arrears exceeding 90 days) as at the date of their application.

Under Urus, AKPK will provide the customer with a personalised financial plan that is developed holistically, taking into account the customer’s financial circumstances and ability to afford repayment of all the customer’s financing obligations.

The financial plan will encompass the following options:

► an interest/profit waiver for three months, beginning from the month following the customer’s onboarding into the scheme; or

► a three-month interest/profit waiver together with reduced instalments for a period of up to 24 months in total. During this period, customers with unsecured personal loans/financing and credit cards may also benefit from reduced interest/profit rates to help alleviate their financial burden.

In addition, the agency will help to monitor the financial plan throughout the programme and review the plan with the bank when the financial circumstances of the customer improve. Applications for the programme will open from Nov 15, 2021 to Jan 31, 2022.