BSP Extends Additional Special Regulatory Relief to Yolanda-Hit Banks

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has made available a special regulatory relief package to universal, commercial, thrift, rural, and cooperative banks with head offices and/or branches in areas severely affected by super typhoon Yolanda. The said measure is in addition to the earlier regulatory and rediscounting relief that the BSP extended to banks in the Yolanda-hit areas.

The additional special regulatory relief measures are available to banks in Palawan, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Cebu, the Samar provinces and Leyte. These provinces were earlier declared under Proclamation No. 682 as “severely affected” areas.

Under the additional special regulatory relief package, affected banks may be allowed to book on a staggered basis over a 5-year period the losses on loans outstanding as of 7 November 2013 that are partially or fully condoned and written off.  Impairment losses on bank premises, furniture, equipment and real and other properties acquired as of 7 November 2013 may also be recognized over a staggered period of up to five years.  Thrift, rural and cooperative banks with head offices in the affected areas may, likewise, apply for condonation of annual supervisory fees for 2014.  Depending on the severity of losses that a bank has incurred, the BSP may, likewise, condone the supervisory fees for up to five years.

The BSP will also allow flexibility on branch relocation and temporary offices to a more viable location within the affected area for a period not exceeding six months.

In addition, submission of periodic and branch reports for six months by banks with head offices and branches in the affected areas will also be relaxed. Further, relaxation on the presentation of the required documents of clients will also be allowed without sacrificing appropriate controls.

The BSP enjoined industry associations to draw common guidelines that member banks can adopt for the reconstitution of the documents of clients and banks in the severely affected areas.

The BSP is providing the wide array of regulatory reliefs so banks can extend debt relief to typhoon victims and also continue lending and providing other services to the public in typhoon affected areas and, thus, promote early recovery.