Association of Banks in Malaysia advises SMEs still in need of loan repayment assistance to contact banks

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) still in need of financing repayment assistance post-moratorium are urged to contact their banks.

Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) representative Mohd Zaini Aris said these SMEs should contact their banks to identify the problems they face so that the right assistance can be channelled to them.

“Some businesses could still survive during the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, but began to be affected after the second and third phases. We do not have the data of these (SMEs) as they did not contact us during the first phase.

“They should approach the bank, we are still open, even after the moratorium expired on September 30. What ended is the moratorium period, but loan repayment assistance is still open for SMEs who really need it,” he said this at a Webinar session, organised by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), today.

Mohd Zaini was one of the panel members at the session titled “Loan Repayment Assistance for SMEs: It Is Not Too Late”, hosted by BNM Assistant Governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid.

Mohd Zaini said it was important for the affected SMEs to contact their banks to apply and explain in detail the problems faced by them to make it easier for the banks to channel assistance that is appropriate and in line with their (SMEs) needs.

Meanwhile, Bank Simpanan Nasional Bhd (BSN) chief business officer Mujibburrahman Abd Rashid said BSN had provided several assistance alternatives to help the affected SMEs according to their suitability.

Mujibburrahman, also one of the Webinar session panel members, said among the BSN alternatives provided to help affected SMEs are the extension of the moratorium, and rescheduled loan payment, profit payment and hire purchase.

He said these alternatives were provided to help SMEs according to their specific problems involving their businesses which they faced following this pandemic.

“This assistance repayment is always available to help those affected during the COVID-19 period. For customers in the red zone, they do not need to go to the bank but just need to apply through the website and it will be managed by the bank,” he added.

The bank remains committed in supporting viable SMEs and has actively contacted SMEs to offer targeted loan repayment assistance tailored to their financial situations.

BNM, the Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) and banking institutions have intensified efforts to raise awareness and encourage SMEs to come forward to apply for loan repayment assistance.

BNM, AKPK and banking institutions have held more than 150 discussion and interaction sessions, including 14 loan repayment assistance campaigns at various locations across the country, to meet with SME borrowers.

As of September 25, 35,000 SMEs have applied for loan repayment assistance and 99 per cent of bank-processed applications have been approved.

About half of the approved applications are for deferred repayments and the other half to reduce monthly instalments.

Loan repayment assistance provided by banking institutions will enable viable SMEs to weather this challenging period.

SMEs can continue to contact their banks to apply for loan repayment assistance even though the automatic loan moratorium expired on September 30, 2020. — Bernama

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