In light of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak to the economy and operations of corporates, the HKMA together with the Banking Sector SME Lending Coordination Mechanism announced on 17 April 2020 the launch of a Pre-approved Principal Payment Holiday Scheme for eligible corporate customers (the Scheme) on 1 May 2020. Under the Scheme, banks in Hong Kong will offer principal payment holidays to covered corporate borrowers on a pre-approval basis. On 2 September 2020, the HKMA announced to extend the Scheme for a further six months to April 2021, and on 4 March 2021, the HKMA announced to further extend the Scheme for another six months to October 2021.
1 May 2020
Am I an eligible customer for the Scheme?
Covered borrowers are corporate borrowers which:
The HKMA requests all banks to participate in the Scheme. Customers may contact their banks to enquire about their eligibility.
What are the payments covered under the Scheme?
How to apply?
Eligible customers do not need to apply for the Scheme. Banks will inform eligible customers of the pre-approval under the Scheme and eligible borrowers are only requested to contact the bank within 14 days of the bank’s notice to confirm the detailed arrangements of the deferment.
In regards to the extension of principal payment holidays announced on 5 August 2020, 2 September 2020, 29 January 2021 and 4 Mar 2021, banks will not issue individual notifications to eligible customers regarding the extension of the Scheme. Corporate customers in need of relief are requested to contact their banks. Banks will handle each eligible customer’s case on a "pre-approved" basis. Banks may request customers (especially those who have been granted multiple extensions of payment holidays) to provide up-to-date business and financial information to better understand their needs when processing their cases.
Enquiries or feedback
For any enquiries or feedback for the Scheme, you may contact the HKMA's dedicated email account: email@example.com or enquiry hotline: (852)2878 1199.
1 For loans which have been extended for 540 days or more cumulatively since first being drawn down, banks can adopt a flexible approach and consider, on a case-by-case basis and subject to prudent risk management principles, whether other forms of relief are more suitable to help the customers ride out the current difficulties.
2 For trade loans which have been extended for 270 days or more cumulatively since first being drawn down, banks can adopt a flexible approach and consider, on a case-by-case basis and subject to prudent risk management principles, whether other forms of relief (such as repaying the trade loans by instalments) are more suitable to help the customers ride out the current difficulties.