• Regulatory relief for ‘Agaton’-affected banks

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    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is granting regulatory and rediscounting relief measures to banks with head offices and branches located in the areas affected by Tropical Depression Agaton.

    Approved on January 30 by the Monetary Board, the central bank said that the areas covered by the regulatory relief are Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental in Region 10; Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental in Region 11; North Cotabato in Region 12; Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur in Region 13; and Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

    The BSP said that the said locations were based on Situational Report 29 of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council dated January 28.

    For thrift banks/rural banks/cooperative banks, the temporary relief measures include excluding 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 nonimposition of penalties on legal reserves deficiencies with head office and/or branches in the affected areas.

    Furthermore, the relief also include the moratorium on monthly payments due to 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 nonimposition 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 January 17 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.

    “These measures will be in effect for a defined period and covered by additional specific and other prudential conditions,” the BSP stated.

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