By LEONG HUNG YEE and ISABELLE LAI KUALA LUMPUR: The minimum annual income requirement for credit card eligibility has been raised to RM24,000 from RM18,000 in a move to keep household debt at manageable levels.
email@example.com,Saturday March 19, 2011
For cardholders earning RM36,000 per an-num and less, they can only hold credit cards from a maximum of two issuers.The maximum credit limit for those earning less than RM36,000 per year has also been capped to double the monthly income of the card holder from each issuing bank.
For example, if a credit card holder earns RM3,000 a month, his credit limit is RM6,000 from one bank.
The same card holder will also be able to get another RM6,000 combined credit limit with another issuing bank.
Thus the maximum credit limit a person earning RM3,000 a month will get is a total of RM12,000 from two issuing banks regardless of the number of cards.
In a briefing yesterday, Bank Negara deputy governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said it was a pre-emptive move although credit card debt in Malaysia remained at a “manageable level”.
As at end-2010, outstanding credit card debt totalled RM30.8bil or 5% of total household debt.
“Although credit card usage continues to increase, the non-performing loan ratio rem-ains low.
“As at end 2010, credit card non-performing loans were only 1.7% of total credit card loans and 2% of the total banking system’s non-performing loans,” Nor Shamsiah said.
She also said that 50% of the 3.2 million card holders in the country earn below RM36,000 while less than 30% of the cardholders own cards from more than two issuers.
Credit card issuers are also required to ad-opt a fair, transparent and responsible practices under the guidelines.
Issuers are not allowed to increase card holders’ credit limit without consent nor are they allowed to offer credit advance in the form of cheques unless requested.In an effort to further enhance credit card security and to promote public confidence in the usage of credit cards as a safe payment ins-trument, effective Jan 1 next year, transaction alerts via SMS to card holders will be implemented after transactions are performed followed by personal identification number (PIN) verification for all card transactions from Jan 1, 2015.
The Association of Banks in Malaysia said individual financial circumstances would be taken into account in implementing the rev-ised credit card guidelines.
Its executive director Chuah Mei Lin said commercial bank issuers might consider restructuring the credit card facility and/or repayments on a case-to-case basis.