MAS and Financial Industry to Support Individuals and SMEs Affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fintech News Singapore

1 month ago
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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), together with the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), the Life Insurance Association (LIA), the General Insurance Association (GIA), and the Finance Houses Association of Singapore (FHAS), today announced a package of measures to help ease the financial strain on individuals and SMEs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The package of financial measures complements the initiatives in the Government's Unity Budget and Resilience Budget to preserve jobs and support enterprises and households.

The COVID-19 outbreak is now global, and increasing in intensity. Stringent measures are being adopted around the world to contain the virus, severely curtailing economic activity. Uncertainty about the trajectory of the pandemic and the depth and duration of an economic recession have also created strains in financial markets globally, which can in turn accentuate the economic crunch.

The Singapore economy contracted sharply in the first quarter of this year, faced with the sudden decline in external demand, disruption in supply chains, and reduced spending at home. MAS expects the economy to remain weak beyond the first half of the year.

In the months ahead, many individuals and SMEs in Singapore will continue to face challenges in managing their cash flows and meeting their financial obligations, such as loan repayments and insurance premiums.

MAS and the financial industry have collaborated on a package of measures to help individuals and SMEs facing temporary cashflow difficulties to ride through the storm. The package has three components:

1. Help individuals meet their loan and insurance commitments;
2. Support SMEs with continued access to bank credit and insurance cover; and
3. Ensure interbank funding markets remain liquid and well-functioning.

The relief for individuals and SMEs will be provided on an opt-in basis, as their cashflow circumstances will differ. Deferring payments increases future obligations and hence borrowers and policyholders should weigh their options carefully. Financial institutions will process all applications expeditiously.

  • Financial support
  • Financial institutions
  • Covid-19
  • MAS
  • Singapore