Banks to offer six-month moratorium from July 7

KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM) member banks will be offering a six-month moratorium from July 7.

In a joint statement, they said this is in line with the National People’s Well-Being and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) unveiled by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

The associations said that the automatic moratorium is applicable for loans/financing approved before July 1, 2021 and are not in arrears for more than 90 days on the date the request for moratorium is submitted to the bank.

The associations remained cognisant that the people continued to face financial challenges due to the ongoing lockdown under phase one of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

“Reflective of our member banks’ continued commitment to provide comprehensive support to our borrowers and customers, our member banks will be offering a six-month moratorium on the instalment of all credit facilities (excluding credit cards) on an opt-in basis.

“This include all individuals (Bottom 40 per cent, Middle 40 per cent and Top 20 per cent income group borrowers/customers), all microenterprises and all small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” they said.

The association noted those who wish to take up this moratorium will need to contact their banks from July 7, 2021 onwards.

“Due to the ongoing movement restrictions, borrowers/customers are strongly encouraged to contact their banks through official digital channels such as the banks’ website, via email or over the phone.

“If borrowers/customers are unable to use the banks’ digital channels, they may also visit the bank branches to submit their requests for the moratorium,” they said.

However, customers are advised to check on their respective banks’ websites for information on any changes in operating hours or arrangements for over-the-counter services in view of the continuing restrictions owing to the pandemic, said the associations.

The banks will strive to process all requests for moratorium in the shortest time possible. However, given the possible large volume of requests and the lockdown constraints on working protocols that all member banks are operating under, there may be some initial operational challenges, they said.

On another note, they said that as announced by Bank Negara Malaysia, borrowers’/customers’ Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records will remain unaffected by opting in for this moratorium.

“As such, they do not have to worry about the impact on their future credit profile. Further, Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) stands ready to provide the necessary advice and guidance to both individual borrowers/customers and microenterprises, including options for debt restructuring,” said the associations.

Meanwhile, ABM and AIBIM also reminded borrowers/customers to be wary of scammers and only opt in for this moratorium through official bank channels and they are also advised not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents/representatives of the banks on matters relating to this new moratorium.

“ABM and AIBIM member banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for purposes of the moratorium,” they added. – Bernama