Malaysian banks sup­port Bank Ne­gara mora­to­rium plan

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - KUALA LUMPUR -AFP

The As­so­ci­a­tion of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) has come up in full sup­port for Bank Ne­gara Malaysia's pro­posed mora­to­rium on pay­ment of in­ter­est and prin­ci­pal for credit fa­cil­i­ties for six months with ef­fect from April 1. It said in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day there would be an au­to­matic ex­ten­sion of cur­rent credit fa­cil­i­ties of six months to re­tail (ex­clud­ing credit cards) and SME cus­tomers.

"While in­ter­est will ac­crue dur­ing this mora­to­rium pe­riod, there will be no pay­ment of in­ter­est and prin­ci­pal re­quired for credit fa­cil­i­ties for the six-month pe­riod, " it said. As for seg­ments other than these the mora­to­rium will ap­ply on a case to case ba­sis and cus­tomers should be in touch with their bankers to dis­cuss the spe­cific re­lief sought.

"The mora­to­rium is the best mea­sure to pro­vide greatest as­sur­ance of job preser­va­tion in the midst of personal fi­nan­cial ad­just­ment. We an­tic­i­pate that any ad­verse as­set qual­ity is­sues will be rel­a­tively short-lived and tem­po­rary in na­ture, " it said. ABM said it fully sup­ported Bank Ne­gara's pro-ac­tive mea­sures an­nounced on Wed­nes­day to mit­i­gate the eco­nomic im­pact caused by the on­go­ing Covid-19 out­break glob­ally. "We are cur­rently work­ing out the full de­tails of the pro­pos­als to en­sure they will be ef­fi­ciently ex­e­cuted with min­i­mum in­con­ve­nience to cus­tomers, " it said.

ABM said the mora­to­rium is the best mea­sure to pro­vide greatest as­sur­ance of job preser­va­tion in the midst of personal fi­nan­cial ad­just­ment. "We an­tic­i­pate that any ad­verse as­set qual­ity is­sues will be rel­a­tively short-lived and tem­po­rary in na­ture, "it said. Chair­man of ABM, and May­bank group pres­i­dent & CEO, Datuk Ab­dul Farid Alias said, "The mea­sures an­nounced have been de­signed not only to sup­port cus­tomers in this highly un­usual global en­vi­ron­ment, but also to en­sure that banks can con­tinue to play their role in sus­tain­ing the coun­try's econ­omy.

We hope it will pro­vide cus­tomers some breath­ing space and al­low them to fo­cus on other crit­i­cal as­pects of their liveli­hoods at this time." Omar Sid­diq, Of­fi­cer in Charge, CIMB Group said: "Banks are fully sup­port­ive of the new mea­sures an­nounced to­day, as they are in the best in­ter­est of all stake­hold­ers as well as the coun­try."

Clearly, we are able to take this ap­proach given the strength of our bank­ing sys­tem and we will con­tinue to bal­ance pru­dence with in­no­va­tion to en­sure that we are flex­i­ble at all times." Datuk Khairus­saleh Ramli, man­ag­ing direc­tor of RHB Bank­ing Group added, "The ad­di­tional mea­sures that BNM, in part­ner­ship with the bank­ing in­dus­try have put in place, ad­dress the root of the sit­u­a­tion that the coun­try is cur­rently go­ing through as a re­sult of the Covid-19 out­break.

Pro­vid­ing crit­i­cal re­lief to both in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses dur­ing this chal­leng­ing pe­riod will ease their fi­nan­cial con­straints and will pro­vide them with the much needed breath­ing space to re- as­sess their fi­nan­cial po­si­tions, par­tic­u­larly those di­rectly af­fected by Covid-19."

"I am con­fi­dent that the mea­sures in­tro­duced will lay a strong foun­da­tion for a faster eco­nomic re­cov­ery once the sit­u­a­tion goes back to nor­mal."

Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, man­ag­ing direc­tor/CEO of Pub­lic Bank added, "These are in­deed proac­tive mea­sures that ad­dress im­me­di­ate and key con­cerns of cus­tomers." "The au­to­matic ap­proach will en­able banks to process the mora­to­ri­ums more ef­fi­ciently to en­sure im­me­di­ate re­lief to those most in need."

"We have con­fi­dence that these mea­sures will help speed up the re­cov­ery curve for the coun­try once the pan­demic is ar­rested and help eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to ac­cel­er­ate without any hin­drance."

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