Affected banks get more relief


Banks affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda received another special regulatory relief package from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The latest measure is in addition to the earlier regulatory and rediscounting relief that the central bank extended to banks in Yolanda-hit areas.

“The additional special regulatory relief measures are available to banks in Palawan, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, the Samar provinces and Leyte. These provinces were earlier declared under Proclamation 682 as ‘severely affected’ areas,” the BSP said in a statement on Wednesday.

The monetary authority noted that under the additional special regulatory relief package, affected banks may be allowed to book on a staggered basis over a five-year period the losses on loans outstanding as of November 7 that are partially or fully condoned and written off.

“Impairment losses on bank premises, furniture, equipment and real and other properties acquired as of 7 November 2013 may also be recognized over a staggered period of up to five years,” it said.

The BSP added that thrift, rural and cooperative banks with head offices in the affected areas may also apply for condonation of annual supervisory fees for 2014.

Depending on the severity of losses that a bank has incurred, the BSP may also condone the supervisory fees for up to five years.

The BSP will also allow flexibility on branch relocation and temporary offices to a more viable location within the affected area for a period not exceeding six months.

“In addition, submission of periodic and branch reports for six months by banks with head offices and branches in the affected areas will also be relaxed. Further, relaxation on the presentation of the required documents of clients will also be allowed without sacrificing appropriate controls,” it said.

The BSP enjoined industry associations to draw common guidelines that member-banks can adopt for the reconstitution of the documents of clients and banks in the severely affected areas.

The BSP is providing the wide array of regulatory reliefs so banks can extend debt relief to typhoon victims, and also continue lending and providing other services to the public in typhoon-affected areas and, thus, promote early recovery.


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