Blanket loan moratorium not feasible for MCO 3.0

11 May 2021 / 21:45 H.

PETALING JAYA: A blanket automatic loan moratorium is not the right response for the nationwide movement control order (MCO) announced on Monday, as nearly all economic sectors are allowed to operate unlike the restrictions introduced last year, according to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM).

Given the less restrictions relating to economic activities, governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the measure might not be the best solution for borrowers.

She pointed out that since the end of the blanket moratorium last year, banks have been providing targeted repayment assistance to needy borrowers.

“Banks already have readied repayment assistance plans which include loan moratorium that could be offered to borrowers who have lost their jobs or suffered reduction in income,” she told the media during the central bank’s briefing on Malaysia’s first-quarter 2021 economic performance today.

“More importantly, borrowers are getting help that reflect their specific financial circumstances, so they would not incur more cost of debt than necessary and can get back on their feet faster.”

With that, Nor Shamsiah urged borrowers facing difficulties to engage with their banks promptly. As of March 31, the banks have collectively facilitated 1.6 million applications for repayment assistance with an approval rate of 95%.

BNM has also set up multiple channels, such as Telelink and the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) for the public should they require advice or further assistance. BNM and AKPK have supported 47,000 borrowers to help them manage their debt obligations.

“Our resources will continue to be mobilised to assist borrowers throughout this challenging period,” said the central bank governor.

Furthermore, Nor Shamsiah pointed out that borrowers’ Central Credit Reference Information System record will not be affected by assistance for the rest of the year.

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