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MAS and Financial Industry Further Extend Support Measures for Individuals and SMEs in Tier 1 and 2 Sectors
Singapore, 24 June 2021… The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), together with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), today announced an extension of the existing industry-wide support measures
2. The industry-wide support measures introduced in 2020 have helped ease the financial strain of borrowers impacted by the pandemic. With the gradual opening up of economic activities, most borrowers have been able to resume loan repayments. However, as the COVID-19 restrictions have impacted borrowers unevenly, the extension is targeted at those individuals and businesses who continue to experience cashflow difficulties, by giving them additional time to transition to full loan instalment repayments.
3. The extension of support measures for individuals and SMEs is summarised below:
4. This is expected to be the final extension of the industry-wide support measures. Borrowers who are unlikely to be able to resume full loan instalment repayments by the end of the relief periods should approach their lenders early to work out longer term repayment solutions. After the industry-wide support measures expire, lenders will continue to offer relief and restructuring options for borrowers facing cashflow challenges based on their specific circumstances. Borrowers who are able to resume full loan repayments should do so to avoid unnecessary debt accumulation.
5. Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS said, “The industry-wide support measures introduced by MAS and the financial industry last year have helped borrowers affected by COVID-19 restrictions. This final extension will provide support for remaining borrowers still affected by the restrictions. With continued economic recovery and transition to an endemic COVID-19 situation, loan repayments must start normalising so as to minimise debt accumulation. We must pivot away from industry-wide credit reliefs to more selective support measures tailored to individual borrowers’ circumstances.”
6. Mr Wee Ee Cheong, Chairman of the ABS said, “While the economic outlook has improved, recovery continues to be uneven across sectors and recent developments have led to some individuals and SMEs requiring further financial support. ABS and banks in Singapore will continue to stand by our customers through this time of need. Working closely with MAS, we will extend the ESS measures and engage customers to facilitate a smooth and progressive transition out of these relief programmes. We will also provide other targeted assistance and restructuring solutions to customers as appropriate.”
7. Mr Ang Tang Chor, Chairman of the FHAS, said, “Economic recovery towards a new normal is underway, underpinned by substantial fiscal stimulus as well as successful rollout of vaccination programmes. However, some individuals and SMEs may take a longer time to recover from the impact of the pandemic. Together with MAS, the finance companies in Singapore are committed to rendering further cash flow assistance to such borrowers via an extension of the support measures. The extension will ease their cashflow pressures and provide more time for borrowers to discuss suitable repayment options with their financiers.”