Numerous banks have begun offering financial assistance to those most affected by the coronavirus outbreak, as the disease continues to impact lives and take its toll on the local economy. In February, Maybank and Hong Leong Bank announced that they would be offering services that include the restructuring and rescheduling of financing, as well as moratorium on loan repayments for up to six months.

Maybank in particular said that its relief measures, which is being made to individuals with hire purchase agreements among others, would be provided on a case-by-case basis. “Should the situation persist, the bank will consider the possibility of extending the moratorium and financial relief for a longer period,” said group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias.

AmBank also announced a temporary deferment of repayments to affected customers (as well as 24-hour approvals), and yesterday both CIMB and Public Bank joined in with similar programmes. Expect other banks to either already offer these services or announce them in the coming days and weeks.

Banks will continue to be open at their usual times during the government’s movement control order – introduced which came into effect yesterday in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease – as they are deemed to offer “essential services”.

Of course, if you do need to go to the bank during this period, you are advised to follow all necessary precautions, such as frequently washing your hands, limiting face-to-face meetings and avoiding close contact with others. Online and mobile banking services will also remain operational, so do avoid going to the bank unless you absolutely have to.