77 loan deferments approved under COVID-19 relief

Businesses and individuals applying for debt deferment must be able to show that the pandemic has affected their ability to repay

MoFE Minister II
Second Minister of Finance and Economy YB Dato Dr Hj Mohd Amin. Photo: RTB

77 loan deferments and debt restructuring applications have been approved by Brunei banks as part of COVID-19 economic relief measures during the ongoing second wave of COVID-19, said the Second Minister of Finance and Economy.

Another 81 applications are being processed while five have been rejected, according to latest data from the Brunei Darussalam Central Bank shared by YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohd Amin Liew Abdullah during the COVID-19 press conference on September 11.

Applications for payment deferments are open until December 31 and form part of the wider economic relief interim measures by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) to help businesses and individuals whose income has been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Deferments were part of relief measures during the first outbreak of COVID-19 in March last year, with 2,014 applications approved between April and December 2020.

The minister explained that banks review deferment applications individually, with each case requiring to show that their cash flow or ability to make repayments has been compromised because of the pandemic.

Sectors that have been compromised include tourism, hospitality, food and beverage services and transport. The minister clarified that businesses and individuals outside these sectors can still apply, if they can show the pandemic has affected their ability to make repayments.

“For those who are not affected by COVID, if they want to take (advantage of) the (deferment) opportunity, their (applications) will not be approved,” he said.

“There are applications that might be rejected due to high risk factors as banks need to look after individual client’s loan profile and so on before making any decision.

“We need to consider the position of the bank too. We can’t just take advantage. If the bank gives some facilities, it’s also at their expense and they also need to manage their cash flow,” he added.

The types of deferment available so far are repayments on loans or financing; restructuring of repayments for personal loans and hire purchase facilities; and restructuring of credit card debt.

Deferments are primarily for the principal amount borrowed, and are still subject to interest or profit rates.

Debtors must apply to their respective banks and financial institutions directly for deferment. For more information contact BDCB at 8318388 or info@bdcb.gov.bn.