AMBD extends COVID-19 assistance period

Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD), in close consultation with the banking industry, announced the extension of assistance to businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic for another six months (April 1 to September 30).

Since April 2020, banks and finance companies have been providing assistance to help alleviate financial distress of affected borrowers. As of December 2020, some 2,014 applications were granted assistance. A majority opted for temporary deferment of their monthly loan repayment.

AMBD observed that the assistance has helped easing customers from the sudden financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the resumption of economic and social activities, several customers have resumed their loan repayments.

Nonetheless, AMBD recognised that some individuals may continue to face cash flow pressures and may require more time to resume full loan repayments. For some customers, alternative financing solution may be necessary.

Through this extended assistance period, AMBD will provide regulatory flexibility to encourage banks and finance companies to offer affected customers suitable temporary assistance such as deferment of repayments on loan; restructuring on personal loan and hire purchase such as car financing tor a period not exceeding 10 years; conversion of outstanding balance on credit card into a short term loan not exceeding three years for affected individuals in the private sector including the self-employed; and waiver of fees and charges related to these facilities, except third party charges.