Moratorium For All In Need!

 Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd. Yunus informed that all those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic will receive assistance as well as deny the notion of targeted loan repayment assistance.

"The common misconception is that without a comprehensive moratorium, borrowers who are in distress will not receive assistance but the assistance is for all those affected by the pandemic, including the extension of the moratorium," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Those who lose their jobs especially in the tourism sector have received a comprehensive moratorium for three months and an extension will be given if they are unemployed.

He said the assistance was maintained for those in need and borrowers had the option of more specific solutions to suit their financial needs.

"Another common misconception is that they need too many documents. Not like that. For the B40 group, the bank has access to the recipients of BSH (Subsistence Assistance) and ACA (People Caring Assistance). Therefore, the bank can identify them, "he added.

Micro enterprises do not need to submit any documents and only minimum documents are required from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help banks provide appropriate advice to borrowers.

To date, a total of 640,000 aid applications have been received with a 98% approval rate with 40% receiving an extension of the moratorium, while another 60 per cent have received installment reductions.

He also stressed that applications for all targeted loan repayment assistance before 30 June 2021 will not be displayed in the borrower's CCRIS record.

The Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) is a centralized database that provides an overview of individual financial conditions.

"If they are not satisfied with anything, they can always make a complaint to Bank Negara. I can assure you that Bank Negara will act on every complaint received, ”said Nor Shamsiah.

When asked if the overall moratorium was a mistake and the targeted moratorium measures should have been taken from the beginning, he said: “No. At the time, that was the right decision as all things were completely stopped.

Therefore, during the Movement Control Order (PKP), it is appropriate to carry out a more comprehensive assessment and provide immediate assistance in terms of a comprehensive moratorium to all households and SME borrowers.

"When your economy shrinks by almost 30%, that is the right policy to alleviate the worries that are always present in the economy," he said.

The Malaysian economy declined by 17.1% in the second quarter of 2020 following the implementation of travel restrictions in and out of the country with strict enforcement mechanisms to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The impact of the travel restrictions was felt in April 2020 when Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased 28.6% year-on-year.

However, now everything has improved again. After PKP, some have begun to recover and be repaid.

"So, there is a recovery, but some are still in need (such as the tourism sector) and they receive the necessary assistance in terms of targeted assistance," he added.

He said balancing the needs of different stakeholders was critical and borrowers should be given options according to individual circumstances.

"Many borrowers have started making repayments before the moratorium is terminated," explained Nor Shamsiah.

He said 89% of SME borrowers had started repaying in September 2020 compared to the first quarter of this year, while 73% were for households.