Banks assessing Leyte earthquake impact – BSP

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Banks are assessing the damage on their operations in Leyte province following the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on Thursday afternoon in Jaro, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

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Vehicles are buried under the rubble of a destroyed building a day after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit the town of Kananga, Leyte. AFP Photo

“Banks are assessing the damage from the earthquake,” Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. told reporters in a chance interview in Makati City on Friday when asked about the situation in Leyte.

Nevertheless, Espenilla said banks were expected to recover quickly as the central bank had put in place regulations that would ensure that operations would continue amid disasters like earthquakes.

“Our banks are geared to recover quickly as much as possible through the business continuity regulation,” he said.

Espenilla is referring to the central bank’s business continuity management (BCM) rules, which require banks to make comprehensive BCM process as an integral part of their operations so that they could withstand the impact of major disruptions.

The rationale for the rule is for supervised financial institutions or BSFIs adversely affected by disruption of critical operations may still continue to operate and service its clients.

These disruptions may be due to internal or external threats, which may be natural, man-made or technical in origin.

It said extreme events may cause major disruptions whose impact were very broad in scope, duration or both and could pose a substantial risk to the continued operation of BSFls.

Because BSFIs play a crucial role in the financial system and economy as a whole, it is important to ensure that their operations can withstand the effects of major disruptions, according to the BSP.

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