Wednesday, March 22

More banks offer financial aid to impacted clients


Datuk Nazri Abdul Rahim

KUCHING: Export-Import Bank of Malaysia Bhd (Exim Bank) joins an array of banks offering assistance to clients who have been financially impacted by the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

As the development financial institution (DFI) of the country mandated to promote cross-border trade, this outbreak puts much strain on export-import trade activities that inevitably affects Exim Bank’s clients.

Exim Bank president/chief executive officer Datuk Nazri Abdul Rahim said: “As the world’s second largest economy and one of Malaysia’s largest trading partners, China is a key facet in the global value chain and this outbreak in one of its major cities inexorably affects the economic, trade and manufacturing activities the world over.

“The widespread implications of the Covid-19 outbreak are rapidly unravelling and many exporters and importers are faced with disruptions to their businesses – from ships being trapped at ports, workers quarantined to travel restrictions; all these do pose financial challenges to businesses, some of whom are our clients.”

Joel Kornreich

In light of this, Exim Bank is set to aid clients whose businesses are affected by the Covid-19 outbreak by exploring ways to ease the financial obligations they may have with the bank. Exim Bank is open to discussion and all affected clients can approach their relationship managers to assist on a case-to-case basis.

Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd (Alliance Bank) is extending assistance to its customers impacted Covid-19 outbreak via several financial relief initiatives.

Alliance Bank customers who are affected by Covid-19 are eligible for financial relief. This include deferment of loan instalments or financing servicing (of principal and interest/profit), and loan restructuring and rescheduling for up to six months, as well as waiver of late charges for loans or financing.

“We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, in particular the small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), and empathise with customers affected by this challenging situation.

“We are committed to help alleviate our customers’ burden and ensure business continuity,” said Alliance Bank’s Group chief executive officer, Joel Kornreich.

Thebank’s insurance partner, Manulife Insurance Bhd, is providing medical coverage to all policyholders seeking treatment related to Covid-19 within Malaysia.

Datuk Ong Eng Bin

They are also extending the payment period to 90 days for all life insurance policies for affected policyholders.

Policyholders with policies issued or reinstated before January 30, 2020 will have their 30-day waiting period waived when seeking medical treatment for Covid-19.

On the same note, OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd (OCBC Bank) and its Islamic banking subsidiary OCBC Al-Amin Bank Bhd (OCBC Al-Amin) will extend assistance to businesses and individual customers affected by Covid-19.

According to OCBC Bank CEO Datuk Ong Eng Bin, the bank will assess and provide the relevant assistance to the affected parties.

“Any business having an issue with repaying their loans, working capital or cash flow should feel free to discuss the matter with us and we will try as much as we can to help them during this challenging period,” he said in a statement.

Lai Pei Si

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq Malaysia are offering an interest-only payment option to its retail and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) clients whose business has been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Clients may apply for the option to pay interest only on their instalment loans for up to six months. The payment option is available to both conventional and Islamic loans.

Head of retail banking of Standard Chartered Malaysia, Lai Pei Si, said the bank is closely monitoring the progress of the outbreak and recognise that some clients are experiencing cashflow concerns.

“We hope that this measure will provide a form of relief for our clients as we continue to stand by them through this hard-hitting time.”