KUALA LUMPUR – The decision to extend the application period for the Financial Management and Resilience Programme (URUS) until March 31, 2022 was made after taking into account the flood impact on many households and businesses, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, reported Bernama.
She said some borrowers are still facing difficulties even though most businesses have already resumed their activities and as the job market improves.
“As the economy begins to recover, it is also important for us to shift our focus to implement the necessary reforms to raise productivity and income.
“Malaysia cannot afford to miss the boat especially if we want to become competitive post-pandemic, be it in the green economy, digitalisation, or supply chain resilience,” she said at a virtual press conference after the release of the fourth quarter 2021 gross domestic product (GDP) results on February 11.
The application for URUS is extended until March 31, 2022 for the eligible B50 income group customers who are on banks’ flood relief assistance programmes.
Nor Shamsiah said the banking industry extended the URUS application period to ensure that support continues to be available to affected borrowers as they need more time to get back on their feet.
The central bank’s deputy governor Jessica Chew Cheng Lian said banks would continue to have ongoing restructuring programmes in place to assist borrowers that continue to face financial difficulties.
“It does not mean that there is no help for other borrowers and it also does not mean that come the end of March 2022, for those who have taken up flood assistance programmes from banks, there will be no help,” she added.
On non-performing loans (NPL), Chew said the central bank expects credit risk to be manageable, although the outlook remains challenging given the developments in the pandemic.
She noted that banks have built up substantial provisions to date and expects most banks to maintain the provision for 2022 so that it would help buffer potential credit losses.
“Secondly, with repayment assistance programmes progressively coming to an end, banks are also increasingly engaging with borrowers,” she continued. “There is more visibility to the creditworthiness of borrowers. That will help ensure the provision level remains adequate.”
For the most vulnerable groups of borrowers, she reminded that repayment assistance programmes remain in place for them, particularly the URUS programme.
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