05 July 2013

Latest BNM measures to Curb Excessive Household Debt (July 2013)

Hot from oven. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today announce some measures to address the alarming household debt among Malaysians. As reported, household debts have continued to increase at a strong pace, averaging at an annual rate of 12% over past 5 years. While this has been supported by positive income and employment conditions, in the more recent period, there has been a growing trend in the offering of financial products that are not in the long-term interest of consumers.

What does this mean?
This includes extended financing tenures of up to 45 years for house financing and 25 years for personal financing!!! Wow... Is it too long the tenure? While this may reduce the monthly repayments, in the long run, this increase the overall debt burden of households. If we don't stop this kind of practice, it will encourage excessive debt accumulation by households and increase the vulnerability of this sector.

Hence, BNM has to take actions...
The implementation of a set of measures aimed at avoiding excessive household indebtedness and to reinforce responsible lending practices by key credit providers. These measures, which take effect immediately, complements the earlier measures introduced since 2010 to promote a sound and sustainable household sector.

What are the measures?
  1. Maximum tenure of 10 years for financing extended for personal use;
  2. Maximum tenure of 35 years for financing granted for the purchase of residential and non-residential properties;
  3. Prohibition on the offering of pre-approved personal financing products.

Who will be affected the most?
For sure, borrowers (excessive one) will be short-handed. However, those good quality borrowers will not be affected. Meanwhile, the hands of financial institutions once again being tighten further. It will definitely impact the loans growth, but with a more quality growth. Property sector will face some minimal impacts, given most of the loan approved is within 35 years of financing.

For Finance Malaysia, this is good news for our country's financial sector. Excessive household debts, coupled with poor quality loans, will endangers the financial system. Worth to highlight here is the pre-approved loan is being banned now. Long time ago, Finance Malaysia is very uncomfortable with such offerings, with the intention to "indulge" bank clients to borrow. Now, we are relieve. Do you agree?


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