Most loan deferments approved as part of COVID-19 relief

Azlan Othman

The majority of loan deferment or restructuring applications processed by banks have been approved as part of COVID-19 relief measures, said Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin
Abdullah yesterday.

Some 164 applications have been received by banks for loan deferment or restructuring.

Seventy-seven have been approved and another 81 are under review. Five applications have been rejected.

Banks will review the application process whether it falls under sectors that have been affected or otherwise. It is not open to all sectors, said the minister.

“There are applications that might be rejected due to high risk factors as banks need to look after individual client’s loan profile and so on before making any decision. Banks also need to manage their cash flow,” said Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew.

Asked on any plans to extend to other sectors, the minister said, as long as the sector is affected by the pandemic, the business can apply to the bank.

“Even during non-COVID-19 period, if the person needs to restructure his or her loan, they can approach a bank for consideration,” the minister said.

Last month, the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB) announced it will provide regulatory flexibility to encourage banks and financial institutions to provide temporary relief to affected businesses, subject to their assessment.

The temporary assistance includes deferring loan repayments, restructuring personal loans and hire-purchase agreements such as car financing for a period not exceeding 10 years, converting credit card debt into a short-term loan for a period no longer than three years for affected individuals, including the self-employed and waiving fees and charges for financing facilities, as well as interbank transfers.