Left out of Covid-19 support policies, bank debtors suffer

By Quynh Trang   August 13, 2021 | 05:41 am PT
Left out of Covid-19 support policies, bank debtors suffer
A vendor sits in the closed Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City in March 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Many people who have taken bank loans are waiting to become eligible for interest discounts after being left out of policy support for Covid-19 impacts.

Oanh Kieu and her husband in Hanoi have been struggling to repay their mortgage this year as their income has halved during the social distancing period.

Her bank has told Kieu that she does not belong to the group of people eligible for interest discount.

Nearly 242,000 bank customers, both individuals and businesses, have received interest discounts or extended repayment periods in the first six months of the year because of Covid-19 impacts.

Kieu is among many others who have found themselves bereft of such support despite being obviously and directly affected by the pandemic.

Many such borrowers have said that the banks require them to prove that they will be able to repay the money after the pandemic, but this is difficult given their current financial difficulties.

The Vietnam Banks Association (VNBA) has said that although banks have provided support for loans disbursed before June 10 last year, the new Covid-19 waves demand more urgent relief on loans taken later.

The support should also include those who use credit cards as this group is currently left out, it said.

Nguyen Quoc Hung, general secretary of VNBA, said that banks should expand its list of sectors eligible for a write-off, a declaration that a certain amount of debt is unlikely to be collected.

Currently only loans for agriculture projects and rural development are eligible for such relief, he added.

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