BNM: Essential financial services to remain accessible to households, businesses


All banking institutions, development financial institutions, insurance companies and takaful operators will ensure the continued operation of uninterrupted access ATMs and cash deposit machines. Bernama Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has confirmed that the public will continue to have nationwide access to essential financial services under the government’s Movement Control Order from March 18 to March 31, 2020.

The central bank said to this end, all banking institutions, development financial institutions, insurance companies and takaful operators will ensure the continued operation of uninterrupted access to self-service terminals including ATMs and cash deposit machines at all branches and accessible locations.

Electronic banking, mobile banking, money changing and remittance services, payment card services and any other online services; processing and approval of new loans or financing applications; and processing and handling of insurance/takaful claims, issuance of guarantee letters and annual renewal of insurance policies/takaful certificates will also continue, it added.

BNM said the branches of financial service providers will remain open during this containment period to provide essential services to the public.

Members of the public are advised to refer to their provider’s website or customer service hotline for further information on services available at the provider’s premises during this period.

“We urge all members of the public to remain calm and patient as the financial service providers roll-out their respective crowd containment and management measures to ensure the safety and health of their customers and employees are prioritised and preserved throughout this period,” it said in a statement yesterday.

In addition, selected non-bank money changers and remittance service providers will open at least three days in a week to ensure the availability of money changing and remittance services throughout this period.

“Members of the public should refer to the MSB (Money Services Business) Advisor app or websites of specific operators for more details,” said BNM.

It added that all e-payment providers have also been advised to ensure no interruptions to all payments and money transfer facilities transacted through their customers’ e-wallets and e-accounts.

“The Malaysian financial market will remain accessible and open as per regular trading hours throughout this period. To this end, BNM will continue to provide sufficient liquidity in the foreign exchange, bond and money markets to ensure uninterrupted financial intermediation,” said the central bank.

It noted that members of the public are strongly encouraged to use electronic and online services to facilitate social distancing to ensure effective containment of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, households and businesses who are facing financial distress resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak are advised to contact their financial service provider early to discuss alternative repayment measures.

“Members of the public are also advised to remain vigilant on scams related to COVID-19, which may be promoted in many forms through social media, emails or phone calls, to take advantage of the public in such emergencies,” said BNM.

It noted that members of the public should contact the customer service centre of financial service providers directly for enquiries or assistance. – Bernama