As part of the economic recovery plan to minimize the negative financial impact on individuals and businesses due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced on Wednesday that Bank of Maldives (BML) loan repayments for customers with financial difficulties will be postponed.
BML's moratorium will allow customers to postpone monthly principal profit/lease repayments and interest payments for a period of six months, in addition to extending the tenor of the loan by six months as well, resulting in more time to make the payments.
Moreover, the bank states that the repayment amount would be reduced by 20 percent for the first six months following the moratorium period. Although customers will not need to make payments for six months starting from when the moratorium is granted, BML noted that the interest charged during these months will be added to the outstanding loan amount and spread over the remaining part of the loan.
Therefore, the bank mentioned that customers who can keep up with their regular loan payments may opt out of applying for the moratorium.
Any BML customer with personal, housing or business loans are eligible to apply for the moratorium from March 1 till the end of September, given that the customer has cleared all overdue loan payments.
However, credit cards and overdraft facilities for personal and business customers are not eligible for the payment deferment.
BML will announce an online process for customers who wish to postpone loan repayments via the moratorium.
As the country's economy is being severely affected by the loss of revenue in the tourism sector, President Solih noted that the government will help those in need through loan schemes and moratoriums.
Experts estimate that the global economy may continue to take even more hits as COVID-19 continues to spread at an alarming rate around the globe.
The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected more than 440,326 and claimed over 19,752 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 112,028 have recovered.
Maldives now has 13 confirmed and five active cases of COVID-19, with total eight recoveries. So far, only tourists and resort employees have confirmed infections in Maldives with no record of local transmissions within the country. The first Maldivian tested positive for the virus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).