BSP grants relief measures for ‘Ruby’-affected lenders

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The central bank is granting regulatory and rediscounting relief measures to banks and non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions (NBQBs) that have head offices and/or branches located in the areas affected by Typhoon Ruby.

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Approved on January 8 by the Monetary Board, the central bank said the areas covered by the regulatory relief are cities in Metro Manila such as Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon, Taguig and Valenzuela.

Other areas were Bataan in Region III; Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal in Region IV-A; Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan and Romblon in Region IV-B; Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon in Region V.

Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental in Region VI; Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor in Region VII; Biliran, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, and Southern Leyte in Region VIII; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Diangat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur in Region XIII were also included in the relief measures.

For thrift banks/rural banks/cooperative banks, the temporary relief measures were the exclusion of existing loans of borrowers in affected areas from the computation of past due ratios, provided these are restructured or given relief; reducing the 5-percent general loan-loss provision to 1 percent for restructured loans of borrowers in the affected areas; and non-imposition of penalties on legal reserves deficiencies with head office and/or branches in the affected areas.

The relief also include moratorium on monthly payments due the BSP for banks with ongoing rehabilitation programs; subject to BSP approval, booking of allowance for probable losses on a staggered basis over maximum of five years for all types of credit extended to individual and businesses directly affected by the calamity; and non-imposition of monetary penalties for delays in the submission of supervisory reports.

For all banks, the regulatory relief allows banks to provide financial assistance to their officers and employees who were affected by the calamity, including assistance that may not be within the scope of the existing BSP-approved Fringe Benefit Program.

For all rediscounting banks, the relief includes the granting of a 60-day grace period to settle the outstanding rediscounting obligations as of December 6, 2014 with the BSP of all rediscounting banks in the affected areas; and allowing banks to restructure with the BSP, on a case-to-case basis, the outstanding rediscounted loans of borrowers affected by the calamity.

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