Malaysian banks offer loan moratorium and assistance to SMEs

SMEs adversely hit by the full lockdown can now enroll in the Targeted Repayment Assistance (TRA) programme offered by banks.
By: | June 4, 2021

The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) said the programme will benefit businesses not permitted to operate during the full-scale lockdown, including individuals, microenterprises and SMEs.  

Those who wish to utilise the latest update of the TRA need only to contact their respective banks to indicate their preferred option. The association said, “The banks will automatically approve all selections by borrowers that fulfil the criteria set by ABM.” 

Such criteria include those who have experienced a cut in income, including household income, as well as B40 category borrowers who are registered under Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) and/or Bantuan Prihatin Rakyat (BPR). 

Microenterprises with loan facilities not exceeding RM150,000 (US$36,335) can also apply for this specific repayment assistance. 

“Under the latest TRA programme, individual customers who have lost their employment are eligible upon contacting their banks for either a loan deferment (moratorium) for a period of three months, or a 50% reduction in the monthly instalment payment for a period of six months. 

“For all other affected borrowers, member banks have in place bespoke or customised rescheduling and restructuring schemes to help alleviate their burden,” said ABM. 

ABM’s member banks have made the TRA process more convenient, including letting borrowers make their selection online or over the phone. 

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Also, in reference to Bank Negara Malaysia’s announcement that borrowers’ Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS) records will not be affected by the TRA received in 2021, ABM has assured borrowers that they need not be concerned about the impact on their future credit profiles. 

In addition, microenterprises can seek assistance from the Credit Counseling and Management Agency (AKPK) for free financial advice and help in facilitating their applications for repayment assistance, according to Malay Mail.