Banks in affected area get relief-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas announced yesterday that banks with head offices or branches in areas affected by the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol will be granted regulatory and rediscounting relief measures to ease the burden of their clients.
In a statement, the BSP said these measures are similar to what was granted to banks in areas affected by recent natural calamities around the country. Banks extended these measures are those located in Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
The measures, which were approved last Friday, allow all banks to provide financial assistance to their officers and employees who were affected by the calamity, including assistance that are not within the scope of an existing BSP-approved fringe benefit program.
For thrift banks, rural banks and cooperative banks, they can exclude the existing loans of borrowers from the computation of past due ratios, provided these are restructured or given relief. Banks can also reduce the five percent general loan loss provision to one percent for restructured loans of borrowers in affected areas.
The BSP will waive the imposition of penalties on legal reserves deficiencies of thrift banks, rural banks and cooperative banks with head offices or branches located in affected areas. A moratorium will be imposed on the monthly payments due to the BSP for banks with ongoing rehabilitation programs.
They also qualify for booking of allowance for probable losses on a staggered basis of a maximum of five years for all types of credit extended to individuals and businesses directly affected by the calamity, subject to the approval of the BSP while monetary penalties will not be imposed for delays in the submission of supervisory reports.
For rediscounting banks, a 60-day grace period will be granted to settle outstanding rediscounting obligations with the BSP as of Oct. 15. They will also be allowed to restructure the outstanding rediscounted loans of borrowers affected by the calamity.
The BSP said these measures will be “in effect for a defined period and covered by additional specific and prudential conditions.”
Similar relief measures were granted to areas affected by Typhoons Santi, Labuyo and Maring which hit the country this year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2013.