Non-bank lender Bajaj Finance will waive EMI bounce charges for the coronavirus pandemic period from March to September for its auto loan customers in Maharashtra. The decision was made after an intervention by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) auto wing this week about the levy of the charges even when a moratorium was on.
The Reserve Bank of India had given a moratorium on all loan repayments between March and August and asked lenders not to tag any account as non-performing for the non-payment. Typically, a borrower gives post-dated cheques or issues auto-debit instructions, which when not executed, may lead to the bounce charges. In a letter written on Wednesday, Bajaj Finance said it will waive 50 per cent of the EMI bounce and other overdue charges between March and August, and waive off the remaining 50 per cent as well if a customer remits the equated-monthly instalment (EMI) for September, October and November by the due date.
The letter, which was seen by PTI, mentioned that the move will benefit 1.19 lakh customers in total and added that the charges were being levied as per agreed loan conditions. MNS General Secretary Kirtikumar Shinde pegged the cumulative benefit to borrowers at Rs 38 crore-47 crore as a result of the move as each borrower will save between Rs 3,200 and Rs 4,000.
"The pandemic-led lockdown had impacted the income of these auto owners over the past five months and were under stress due to demands made by the non-banking finance company to recover the monthly instalments," Shinde said. When contacted, officials at Bajaj Finance declined to comment on the development.
The letter termed this as a one-time "gesture" for the customers who have availed moratorium after the "request" from MNS.