BSP Action on COVID-19 Pandemic

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recognizes the potential significant impact of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to the general public, including the individual and corporate clients and employees of BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs). This pandemic has severely disrupted business operations due to measures implemented (e.g., lockdown situation, localized work suspension, heightened health and safety risks faced by employees and customers) by the National Government, local government units concerned and the businesses themselves in order to control the transmission of COVID-19.

Cognizant of the impact of this disruption in the financial system and the Philippine economy, the BSP Monetary Board approved the granting of temporary regulatory and rediscounting relief measures to BSFIs. The relief is granted to BSFIs to enable them to extend the same relief measures to their clients, borrowers and employees.

Regulatory Relief Package to BSFIs

All BSFIs can avail of the regulatory relief package specified below:

  1. Allow BSFIs to provide financial assistance to affected officers;
  2. Exclude exposure of affected borrowers from the computation of the past due loan ratios; Waiver of BSP documentary requirements for restructured loans;
  3. Allow staggered booking of allowance for credit losses for loans extended to affected borrowers for a maximum period of five (5) years, subject to approval of the BSP;
  4. Non-imposition of monetary penalties for delays in the submission of all prudential reports to the BSP for a period of six (6) months;
  5. Moratorium on monthly payments due to the BSP, without penalty, for a period of six (6) months;
  6. Non-imposition of penalties on legal reserve deficiencies for a period of 6 months, subject to prior approval of the BSP; and
  7. For all rediscounting banks, they are given 60-day grace period to settle the outstanding rediscounting obligations with the BSP, upon application. Moreover, they are allowed to restructure their obligations with the BSP, on a case-by-case basis. Lastly, on the renewal of rediscounting line or availment of rediscounting loans, the eligibility criteria on reserve requirement is relaxed.

During the period of availment of regulatory relief, BSFIs, as applicable, are strongly encouraged to temporarily suspend all fees and charges imposed on the use of online banking platforms or electronic money, including those imposed on the use of Instapay or PesoNet electronic fund transfer. This will enable consumers to facilitate banking transactions during the COVID-19 situation.

Period of Eligibility of BSFIs

BSFIs are given one (1) year from 8 March 2020, the date of declaration of the President of the state of public health emergency under Presidential Proclamation No. 922 to avail the regulatory relief measures.

The period of eligibility may be extended depending on the developments of the COVID-19 situation.

Prior to availment of the regulatory relief package, BSFIs shall submit to the BSP the following:

  1. Letter-notification to the BSP stating the intention to avail of the regulatory relief package, the specific relief measures to be availed and the affected offices of the BSFI; and
  2. Resolution of the Board of Directors authorizing the BSFI to avail of the regulatory relief package.

BSFIs are expected to ensure that the regulatory relief to be availed is suitable to their operations, situation and condition. (BSP)