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The Finance Ministry said that it was up to the banks to decide whether to extend or work on other measures in regards to the Covid-19 loan repayment moratorium period.
The six-month loan deferment or moratorium period was announced by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as part of the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, which allows for individuals and small businesses (SMEs) to essentially delay financing repayments from April to September 2020, with no compounding interest.
According to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz the government apparently can’t force banks to extend the moratorium period.
Although acknowledging public appeal on the need for the extension, the minister suggests that a way things could play out is for banks to provide a more targeted approach to the moratorium by only giving it out on a case-by-case basis after the period ends.
Meanwhile, looking at one of the country’s largest financial institutions may reveal what’s to come for millions of Malaysians.
Malaysian Banking Berhad, a.k.a. Maybank, said that it will not be extending its loan moratorium timeline.
Maybank explains that the original six-month moratorium period was “good enough” at providing a buffer for banks to figure things out and restructure repayment or loan packages.
Maybank CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias said that the reason for the moratorium in the first place was to allow “customers” time to talk with banks to repackage their financial repayments and come out of the moratorium period “stronger”.
Previously, Malaysians were vexed and confused over the supposed “u-turn” made by BNM on its decision to require additional confirmations to warrant the loan deferments and giving the public the choice to either opt-in or out of the moratorium, instead of it being automatic.
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