KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 '” Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today denied tightening requirements for home loan applications by first-time buyers, following a claim a senior Johor government official.
In a press conference today, BNM Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz explained that the central bank's regulations did not discriminate against new buyers, and that approval was based on the applicant's credit ratings.
'There has been no tightening policy for first time (home) buyers but all borrowers need to be credit-worthy.
'There's only been a tightening on borrowing for third-time borrowers,' she said.
Zeti said that strict policies for multiple property buyers are enforced to avoid banks offering loans to individuals who lacked the ability to meet all their loan repayments, which she said can pose a 'severe consequence to the banking institution.
Last Saturday, Johor state secretary Datuk Ismail Karim reportedly said that banks are becoming overly cautious in disbursing housing loans to buyers, even first timers who meet more strict criteria set by BNM.
The Star Online quoted him saying that state authorities had also received complaints from unsuccessful first-time home buyers who were financially qualified to purchase affordable homes in Johor.
'The Government is pushing for homeownership for all Malaysians especially first time buyers but banks are not playing their role,'' Ismail reportedly said at a press conference after the launch of the Johor Malaysian Property Expo 2015.
He said the state government had also met central bank officials to look into the matter, and suggested that the central bank should relax its ruling on disbursing loans.
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