Business

After BNM blunder, Zafrul asks banks to forgo accrued interest for moratorium period

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – May 2, 2020: The Finance Ministry has called on banks to forgo accrued interests  and profits that will be charged to borrowers opting for the six months loan repayment moratorium introduced as Covid-19 relief assistance.

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said he was making the call following the public outcry over a statement by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) a day earlier which would cause borrowers to pay more monthly installments for their hire purchase (HP) and Islamic loans if they opted for said assistance.

“After listening to the requests from the public, I am suggesting that all financial institution, especially those that are involved in offering the loan moratorium to consider abolishing accrued interests on hire purchase loans and profits on Islamic loans throughout the six month moratorium period.

“In these economically challenging times caused by the Covid-19 virus, I sincerely hope that BNM and all financial institution in the country will take heed and give due consideration to this recommendation,” said Zafrul in a statement today.

Zafrul and BNM were heavily criticised yesterday as netizen shared a before-and-after screengrab of BNM’s “U-turn” on the calculation of monthly instalments for hire purchasing loan of those opting for the moratorium.

They pointed out how BNM had clearly stated in its initial and already-deleted FAQ sheet, published in March, that under the assistance, monthly instalments of HP will remains the same and that only the period of loan maturity will be increased for six months.

BNM however, denied that it has done any reversal, stating that the accrued on interest and profits that will be charged to those who agree to sign-up for the moratorium have been stated in its initial FAQ.

The commotion and anger had even birthed an online petition denouncing BNM’s move and a demand of zero per cent interests on the deferred instalment payments.

As it is, only Public Bank was known to have already informed its borrowers that a deferment charges will be impose on those who sign-up for the loan moratorium – which was automatically enforced since last month.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.