As awareness is spreading among the masses and banks have trained their staff, more customers are seeking to get relief using the deferred payment facility of loans from their banks as the number of borrowers has surged to over 0.3 million.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the number of bank customers that availed deferred payment of loans has grown to 303,000 who were provided relief in repayment of installments against personal loans, auto, housing finance, and credit cards.
Overall, deferred payment relief of Rs. 236 billion has been given by various commercial banks on the directives of State Bank of Pakistan which introduced the scheme in March.
A significant number of customers approached their banks after the announcement of the scheme by SBP however the officials were given directives in latter days with the policy and procedures. In the first two weeks, banks could facilitate over 80,000 customers whereas the number of borrowers surged to over 300,000 in the latter two weeks.
The relief in repayment of loans was announced for conventional banks but later on, SBP came up with a similar scheme for Islamic banks.
Some of the customers complained that banks did not provide relief but are charged extra as fine or other charges.
According to the scheme, bank customers that availed auto and housing finance, personal loans, and credit cards can pay their principal amount after one year whereas they have to pay the interest payment or spread now.
However, customers complained that they were explained to pay the spread or interest of their monthly installments under the relief and then pay principal payment along with spread or interest amount. This seems to double the burden on the customers and unfair practice in the name of relief.
SBP should clarify its relief scheme of deferred loan payment facility to banks. The customers could also approach the help desk of the central bank.
The relief will be given to borrowers who have been paying their installments regularly till December 2019.