While the government has said it will engage banks on the request by the public to extend the six-month moratorium on loans and financing repayments, any decision to continue the deferment period will have to be made individually by the banks, Bernama reports.

Analysts believe that banks will adopt a targeted approach to a moratorium extension, much like that suggested earlier this week by finance minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, who said that an extension could be looked at by banks on a case-to-case basis.

According to Affin Hwang Capital Research analyst Loong Chee Wei, those who are affected by the pandemic to the point of losing their job should be given a moratorium extension, but it would not be a blanket order. “Some are still facing hardship through this time, hence the moratorium given should be targeted,” he said.

In a response to the matter, Malayan Banking said it will not be extending its loan moratorium period past September. According to its group president and CEO Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, the present six-month period from April 1 to September 30 was “good enough” for the banking sector and the public in general, reports the New Straits Times.

Asked by reporters as to whether the Maybank was going to extend the moratorium, he said “the answer is ‘No’ because the six-month period is good enough for us to come out with a plan.” He said the whole idea of the moratorium was to give the public some breathing space, because the impact of Covid-19 was something that everyone had never experienced.

“So none of us know how long and deep the impact will be. So we need to digest, need time to talk to customers to come out with plan in order to help them repackage their facility and come out from the moratorium in a strong position,” he explained.

Meanwhile, AmBank says it is looking at extending the loan moratorium, but not in a blanket manner, The Edge reports. According to AmBank CEO Datuk Sulaiman Mohd Tahir, any extension will only be for targeted segments.

“This is something we want to look at particularly. We have set a criteria in terms of people who are in need and the approach is more towards requests by the customers,” he said.

“We should look at certain segments and certain people that require it. I’m sure that the banks are in the position to help out those that are really affected. But, it is not wise to go for a blanket moratorium, because the situation back then, during the MCO, was quite dire,” he said.

He added that the banking group has already been taking a targeted approach even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and is looking to continue the practice, going forward. “If customers [have] issues with regard to repayment, come and sit down and look into how we can (deal with it),” he said.

Under the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had on March 25 proposed measures to assist individuals, small and medium enterprises (SME) and corporates affected by Covid-19, in which an automatic moratorium on all loan repayments for six months was announced.

Those with hire purchase car loans or fixed-rate Islamic financing will enjoy a six-month relief, with only the duration of the tenure shifted by an additional six months. There is no change to instalment payments after the moratorium period ends, nor will there be any additional interest charged during the period.