Banks committed to assisting borrowers before moratorium ends

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — Malaysian banks are committed to assisting borrowers in providing further assistance before the automatic blanket moratorium ends on Sept 30.

CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Rahman Ahmad said banks had identified and contacted about two million borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Movement Control Order, and were working hard to contact them before the end of the moratorium.

“As of Sept 11, the banks had spoken to 1.4 million borrowers out of the two million borrowers contacted. Over 380,000 of them have confirmed that they require loan repayment assistance while the remaining are considering the financing options available to them.

“About 98 per cent of completed loan repayment assistance applications have been approved by banks,” he told reporters at a media roundtable with bankers at Sasana Kijang here today.

Abdul Rahman, who chaired the session, added that of the 380,000 who required assistance, 26,000 were small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail borrowers formed the balance.

The application process for an individual would take one to five days, and it was expected to take three days to two weeks after the completed applications were received by banks for SMEs, he said.

“All the banks are committed to helping borrowers pre and post-moratorium. We urge borrowers who need help to come forward and reach out to their banks for further assistance,” he added.

Abdul Rahman urged borrowers not to wait until the last minute to approach the banks as repayments not made after September would be considered overdue installments.

“It will be reflected in their Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) report and subjected to banks’ debt collection procedures.

“However, the banks would still assist borrowers after September to avoid overdue instalments and its due process from happening,” he said, adding that the banking industry would be providing a targeted moratorium extension from October.

Abdul Rahman said the banks were projecting about 600,000 uncontactable borrowers, out of the two million borrowers identified as vulnerable, to come forward later.

In anticipation of the surge of borrowers coming forward at the last minute, the banks had made various channels available to ease them in seeking assistance via various online platforms and extended operation hours, he said.

However, Abdul Rahman said about 70-80 per cent of the contacted borrowers had stated they were able to continue repayments after September.

“We believe this reflects the strength of our economy as well as the confidence of the borrowers that they could cope with their loans.

“The strength of the economy was also supported by data of the increasing demand for car sales in June and July, which registered above 50,000 units in total industry volume,” he added.