KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has established a platform — the Khidmat Nasihat Pembiayaan or MyKNP — to provide assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and homebuyers who have failed to secure financing, amid mounting frustrations among those who could not get loans.
The online platform is a collaboration between the central bank, Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) and Credit Guarantee Corp Bhd (CGC), with the support of the financial industry.
BNM assistant governor Adnan Zaylani Mohamad Zahid said the central bank, along with AKPK and CGC, recognised that securing financing for a business or for the purchase of a home is among the key concerns of borrowers.
“A growing amount of feedback is that businesses and households are faced with a lack of information when their loan applications are rejected. When they get rejected, they tend to generalise that it is difficult to secure financing for these reasons.
“We are hoping to alleviate this perspective. We want to help them understand why they were rejected and how they can improve their position so that they can secure financing,” he told reporters after the launch of the initiative yesterday.
This is also in line with the requirement for banks to provide more transparency on why a loan application has been rejected, following BNM’s directive effective June this year, under which banks have to disclose the reason for the rejection.
Applicants who have been unsuccessful in securing SME financing or home financing can contact MyKNP and obtain advisory services free of charge, which include further clarification on the reasons for rejection by financial institutions, advice on how to improve eligibility for financing in the future, and information on alternative financing for SMEs or alternative solutions for homebuyers.
CGC chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Zamree Mohd Ishak added that MyKNP can also refer those who have seen their rejected applications to alternative financing platforms such as peer-to-peer (P2P) financing and equity crowdfunding (ECF) to meet their financing needs.
“Besides financial institutions, we also have several P2P players here as well as ECF platforms. We will assist SMEs in considering these alternative options if they are finding it difficult to secure financing from banks,” Mohd Zamree said.
Currently, AKPK holds consulting sessions for between 10,000 and 15,000 cases per month, with about 30% to 40% of these cases being housing-related, according to its chief executive officer Azaddin Ngah Tasir.
“Individuals are free to come to AKPK for any advice concerning finances. We provide financial education, counselling and debt management programmes, free of charge,” he said.
Asked if the central bank is targeting to reduce loan rejection rates with the launch of MyKNP, Adnan said BNM is largely aiming to deal with rejected cases first.
“We have not set any specific targets yet. We want to deal with the [rejected] cases and help those in need to improve their eligibility. We hope people will make use of this facility,” he said.
Income cap under RM1b affordable home fund increased to RM4,360
Besides MyKNP, BNM also announced enhancements for its RM1 billion affordable home fund, which include a higher maximum monthly household income of RM4,360 (from RM2,300 previously) and an increased maximum property price of RM300,000 (from RM150,000 previously).
The enhancements will be effective on Sept 1 this year. Among the fund’s other eligibility criteria are that the individual must be a Malaysian citizen, a salaried worker or self-employed, and have no record of impaired financing for the past 12 months.
The maximum financing rate under the fund is 3.5% per year, with a maximum tenure of 40 years or up to 70 years of the applicant’s age, whichever is shorter.
From January to June this year, the fund had received some 700 applications, of which 296 applications, worth RM31 million, had been approved. Except for 94 applications that had been rejected, the balance is still being processed.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Aug 22, 2019.
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