KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 – Malaysian individuals as well as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be allowed to delay the repayment of their existing loans, including mortgages and hire-purchases, for a period of six months with banks in the country.
In a letter to the heads of financial institutions today, Bank Negara said the automatic moratorium will be effective from April 1.
Bank Negara is implementing these additional measures to assist borrowers experiencing temporary financial difficulty due to the COVID19 pandemic.
“These measures aim to ensure that the financial inter-mediation function of the financial sector remains intact, access to financing continues to be available, and banking institutions remain focused on supporting the economy during these exceptional circumstances,
“Banking institutions should provide individuals and SME borrowers with adequate information on how the suspended loan/financing repayments/payments will be treated during the moratorium period,” the central bank said.
As for outstanding credit card balances, Bank Negara said customers should be offered the option to convert the outstanding balances into term-loan of not more than three years with interest/profit rate of not more than 13% per annum.
“For individuals who have already demonstrated signs of repayment difficulty, (i.e. not able to make minimum payment in the last 3 consecutive months) banks shall automatically convert their credit card balances into term loans.” Bank Negara said further.