Regulatory relief for banks affected by ‘Santi’

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is granting regulatory relief measures to banks affected by the recent Typhoon Santi.

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Approved on October 17 by the Monetary Board, the regulatory relief will enable banks to similarly assist and ease the financial burden of bank customers adversely affected by the typhoon, which devastated several parts of the country from October 11 to 13.

The central bank noted that eligible areas for the relief measures were the provinces of Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Laguna and Rizal.

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 non-imposition of penalties on legal reserves deficiencies with head office and/or branches in the affected areas.

Furthermore, the relief also includes 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 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 those assistance that may not be within the scope of the existing BSP-approved Fringe Benefit Program.

For all rediscounting banks, the relief include the granting of a 60-day grace period to settle the outstanding rediscounting obligations as of October 13 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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