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Banks have approved 98 pct of 500,000 applications for repayment assistance – BNM

1st October, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The banking industry has received about 500,000 applications for repayment assistance and approved 98 per cent of them, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said.

Individual banks, it said, have directly engaged over two million borrowers through calls, emails and SMS to offer repayment assistance in view of the end of the automatic moratorium on Wednesday.

“For applications that are still being processed, banks have provided their commitment to inform borrowers of the application results as soon as possible,” the central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

BNM said it will closely monitor banks’ practices in this regard and borrowers who face difficulties with their banks can contact BNMTELELINK at bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my.

There also continues to be a steady increase in borrowers choosing to resume payment of their monthly installments, it noted.

It advised borrowers who can afford to resume monthly repayments to do so, as this would reduce their overall debt and borrowing costs.

“Although broader economic conditions are improving, some borrowers may still face repayment challenges if their circumstances change in the coming months. If this happens, borrowers can still engage their banks to discuss alternative repayment arrangements,” it said.

During this period, banks will continue to offer various forms of repayment assistance to borrowers.

BNM assured that applications for repayment assistance at any time before June 30, 2021, will not appear on a borrower’s Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records.

It said borrowers may also seek guidance and explore alternative options for assistance with the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK).

According to BNM, the banking industry has been actively reaching out to help households and businesses that need assistance after the automatic moratorium ends Sept 30.

Banks have introduced a range of packages for affected borrowers, including targeted extension of the moratorium, as well as repayment flexibilities to help borrowers based on their specific financial situation.

These include repayment assistance campaigns across the country and direct engagements with various stakeholder groups, including small and medium enterprise associations.

“To ease the application process, banks have simplified steps, enabled online applications and extended the operating hours of branches (including weekends),” BNM said.

This targeted approach, it added, ensures that more resources are available to assist those who are vulnerable and also enables the banking sector to better support the broader economy through continued lending. –Bernama

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