THE Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) and its member banks remain committed to assisting their small business borrowers who are facing difficulties in servicing their debt repayments as a result of the recent Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) hike.
“ABM and its member banks take cognisance that the monthly repayment instalments for loans with floating interest rates would have increased following the multiple increases in the OPR,” it said in a statement today (June 19).
“As a result, some borrowers of various sizes, especially the small businesses, may find it more difficult to meet their repayment obligations.”
To provide support to their customers in need, the banks reiterate that they have ongoing respective assistance measures, such as rescheduling and restructuring (R&R), to aid their small business borrowers.
“Borrowers who are in need of financial assistance are advised to contact their respective banks through their banks’ official channels, as soon as possible to discuss financial repayment options that suit their own individual financial circumstances,” ABM remarked.
Customers are reminded to be wary of scammers and only apply for any financial assistance through official bank channels.
“Bank customers are also advised not to deal with any third parties claiming to be agents/representatives of the banks on matters relating to repayment assistance.
“Banks do not appoint or engage third parties or agents for this purpose,” it stressed.
On May 3, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate, citing a need to normalise monetary accommodation as the economy was resilient and it needed to manage persistent inflation.
The overnight policy rate was raised by 25 basis points to 3%. A Reuters poll of 25 economists had largely expected the central bank to hold its overnight policy rate at 2.75%, with just four forecasting a rate hike.
BNM had kept rates unchanged at its two previous meetings this year as it sought to assess the impact of four consecutive hikes totalling 100 basis points in 2022. – June 19, 2023
Main pic credit: Borneo Post Online