The Bank of China (Hong Kong) or BOCHK has broadened the scope and customer coverage of its mortgage principal moratorium measure to provide relief to more individual customers affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.
"In view of the outbreak, BOCHK has taken the lead in introducing a series of financial support initiatives to assist personal and commercial customers in riding out the challenges,” says Ann Kung, the bank’s deputy chief executive. “We have received over 14,000 enquiries so far.”
From Apri 27 the bank will extend the scope of principal moratorium for mortgage loans to subsidised sale flats under the Hong Kong Housing Authority, including Home Ownership Scheme, Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Scheme, Tenants Purchase Scheme, Private Sector Participation Scheme and Buy or Rent Option Scheme in the primary market and under the Secondary Market Scheme, in addition to private residential properties, village houses, industrial and commercial properties, shops and parking spaces.
BOCHK also fully supports mortgage principal moratorium applications with a second mortgage loan offered by developers.
Customers who can now benefit from the measure include those who have made mortgage repayments for six months or more with a good repayment record in the past six months.
Principal repayment can be deferred for up to six months and is extendable for another six months upon application, subject to a maximum interest-only period of 12 months. The bank will also waive the relevant handling fees for the application.
“By mobilising our resources to expedite the approval process, we have approved over 2,200 applications, among which over 50% came from personal customers who applied for a mortgage principal moratorium,” Kung notes. “The majority of the applicants work in retail, logistics, tourism and hospitality industries."