COVID-19: Hong Leong Bank cardholders can convert balance to three-year loan at 13% per annum

KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd have offered their customers the option of converting their credit card balances into a three-year loan at an effective interest or profit rate of 13% per annum.

Customers can continue to use their credit card as per normal and pay their monthly credit card payments as normal if they are able to do so, it said in a statement today.

The banks will also be participating in the automatic six-month moratorium on loans and financing repayments of principal and interest for all of its small and medium enterprise (SME) and individual customers effective April 1, 2020.

This follows Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest measures to assist borrowers and customers experiencing temporary financial constraints amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

This means that all SME loans and loans held by individuals — which include auto, housing, mortgage, personal loans and financing — will be given the automatic six-month deferment period.

Customers can elect to opt-out of this loan deferment by continuing their monthly loans and financing as per normal.

Corporate customers can apply for loan deferment through their relationship managers and their appeals will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Leong Bank group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Domenic Fuda said the automatic loan repayment deferment will alleviate the hardships for business and households as well as provide much-needed respite for borrowers who are both directly and indirectly affected by the outbreak.

“We are deeply encouraged by BNM’s significant and decisive action to further help Malaysians weather this difficult period. HLB is steadfast in our commitment to help the local communities through this very difficult period. We will continue to provide the necessary support and collaborate closely with our customers to make sure that short-term cash flow challenges don’t turn into problems of long-term business viability, so businesses can re-start operations and individuals can return to work and normal lives once the fight against COVID-19 is behind us,” he said.

Additionally, the bank will continue to extend support to SMEs via BNM’s Special Relief Facility — which offers SMEs up to RM1 million in financing with no collateral required and a term loan of up to 5.5 years at a financing rate capped at 3.75%.

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