Loan moratorium not interest free – Tengku Zafrul

The six-month loan repayment moratorium under the RM150 billion Pemulih package announced yesterday by prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is meant to help borrowers by deferring repayments to a later date, but would not be interest free, according to finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Speaking to reporters during a virtual briefing earlier today, he explained that it would be up to the banks to decide if they would waive interest charges. He said that the method of repayment – including that of interest charges – will differ in each case, and would have to be determined between the borrowers and banks, The Star reports.

“You will have to discuss this with your respective banks. I don’t know the answer, but the interest charges will differ from bank to bank and from product to product. Every bank will have a different scheme for their borrowers, I presume. I don’t micromanage the banks,” he said.

Unlike the moratorium approved in the first MCO early last year, the latest moratorium is for everyone, from the B40 segment to the country’s top 20% earners (T20) as well as micro entrepreneurs. There will be no need for proof of pay reduction or job loss, and no documents are required.

Applications will open on July 7, and borrowers just need to apply with the bank and sign the amended loan agreement form. Approval will be automatic for individual borrowers. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can also apply, but for companies, it’s subject to review by the banks (not automatic).

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