Kuala Lumpur, 28 September 2021 – Hong Leong Bank and Hong Leong Islamic Bank (“HLB” or the “Bank”) has extended RM33.4 billion of Payment Relief Assistance, which includes the PEMULIH Payment/Repayment Relief Assistance introduced this July to its individual and SME customers as at 17 September 2021.
The Bank has maintained a 100% approval rate for eligible customers who have applied for payment relief assistance and, will continue to work closely with borrowers to provide Payment Relief Assistance to those who continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as the recovery phase underway will be uneven and some will take longer to recover than others.
Domenic Fuda, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of HLB stressed that the Bank is fully committed to help customers recover from the impacts of the pandemic. He stressed that HLB will continue to be steadfast in supporting customers through the payment assistance programs for as long as the situation calls for them to be in place, just like they have done from the onset of the pandemic in February 2020.
“The opening up of the economy and high vaccination rates signal that we can positively move into the recovery phase. However, we recognise the recovery journey will take some time and will be uneven, with cashflow remaining a key concern to the business community, especially SMEs, individuals and families who have suffered income or job loss due to prolonged and multiple lockdowns.
“To ensure that we remain agile and flexible in providing the right level of support to the right customers and for them to receive the relief assistance in timely manner, we simplified the application process for the various repayment programs to ensure applications can be easily done online through our website, hassle free.
“We also have a no-rejection policy where we do not turn away any customers who apply for relief assistance. If they require independent assessment and assistance, we will refer their cases to the Credit Counselling and Debt Management (“AKPK”), who provides free services on money management, credit counselling, financial education and debt restructuring for individuals or Small Debt Resolution Committee (“SDRC”) for SMEs.”
In addition, the Bank is also extending loan and financing to customers who have been looking for working capital to restart or increase their operations back to 100% capacity. This includes customers who are looking at expanding their business, automating or digitising their operations, or individuals who are looking for new loan/financing to cater to their personal loan/financing needs.
Speaking on the importance of providing loan and financing for SMEs, Fuda said “Apart from recovering from the economic shocks caused by the pandemic, SMEs must deal with long-term structural challenges, which include digitalisation and resiliency measures to better deal with future shocks. The outcome from the pandemic clearly shows that many SMEs were not prepared for and struggle to adapt quickly, which risks widening the digital gap both within the SME sector and when compared to larger companies. Hence, we are committed to support the SME industry through providing them with access to financing as well as equipping them with digital business solutions. From January 2021 to August 2021, HLB has disbursed new financing of RM3.952 billion to SME customers, supporting them not only towards their recovery journey but to fortify their business to be more sustainable.”
For customers interested in applying or finding more information on HLB payment relief plans, please visit www.hlb.com.my/relief or visit one of the Bank branches at the earliest available opportunity. HLB advises to use the digital channel as a means to reduce contact.
Should customers prefer to talk to someone, please call the dedicated HLB/HLISB Payment Relief Assistance Plan hotline: 03-7959 1888 (Monday – Thursday from 8:45am – 5:45am.; Friday from 8:45am – 4:45pm) or HLB/HLISB Contact Centre: 03-7626 8899 (Monday – Saturday from 9:00am to 6:00pm).