About 500,000 applications for repayment assistance have been received by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as Malaysians transition into targeted repayment assistance following the end of the six-month loan moratorium period on October 1, according to BNM.
To aid vulnerable Malaysians who are struggling with their loans, banks have introduced a range of packages for affected borrowers, including targeted extension of the moratorium, and repayment flexibilities to help borrowers based on their specific financial situation.
In addition to these efforts, individual banks have also directly engaged over 2 million borrowers through calls, emails and SMS to offer repayment assistance. On other hand, BNM, together with other stakeholders in the banking industry, has also conducted more than 150 engagement sessions with various stakeholder groups, including with SME associations.
These packages allow the banking sector to better support the broader economy through continued lending. BNM has also eased the application process for borrowers by simplifying the application steps, enabled online applications and extended the operating hours of branches (including weekends).
Despite these aids, BNM states that there continues to be a steady increase in borrowers choosing to resume payment of their monthly instalments. Borrowers who can afford to resume monthly repayments, BNM advises should do so, as this would reduce their overall debt and borrowing costs.
Although broader economic conditions have improved, some borrowers may still face repayment challenges due to unforeseen circumstances in the coming months, and can still engage their banks to discuss alternative repayment arrangements, according to BNM.
All applications for repayment assistance that are made before 30 June 2021 will not appear on a borrower’s CCRIS records. Borrowers may also seek guidance and explore alternative options for assistance with Agensi Kaunseling & Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK).
To further assist borrowers and customers in coming forward to apply for repayment assistance, selected bank branches throughout the country will continue to extend operating hours on weekdays and open on weekends. Those in areas under Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) or Targeted EMCO (TEMCO) and face constraints in submitting applications may contact their bank for assistance.
The banks would also like to reassure borrowers or customers that no penalty will be given to those who have applied for assistance with relevant documents but have not heard back from their banks.
Borrowers facing difficulties with their banks can contact BNMTELELINK at firstname.lastname@example.org.