• The Financial District


Banks have requested the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the extension of some relief measures undertaken since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine middle of March.

The requests are primarily for operational relief measures, such as the non-submission of certain prudential reports and the modification of requirements for the temporary closure of bank branches.

In a briefing on Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said they need to assess the impact of the pandemic on the banking system’s performance and the extent of the financial relief extended by the financial institutions to their clients.

“A better understanding of the true state of health of the banking system will allow us to properly evaluate whether further easing of the relief measures is warranted,” Diokno said.

He said the BSP has deployed a comprehensive questionnaire designed to facilitate the central bank’s information gathering regarding the information on the financial and operational impact of the pandemic on the banks and the specific measures individual banks plan to undertake amid the new situation.

“The results of this exercise will feed into our analysis regarding the need for future policy action on the part of the BSP,” Diokno said.

Among the measures implemented by the BSP to address the impact of the community quarantines, which the government implemented to stem the rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases, are the electronic submission of documents for applications for approval and/or registration of foreign currency loans, borrowings, investments; the sale of foreign exchange by authorized agent banks; the use of electronic signature or digital signatures for documents originally required to be submitted in hard copy and non-imposition of monetary penalties for delayed submitted of reports.

Amid the impact of the pandemic and the recent directors, officers, stockholders, and related interests (DOSRI) transaction and Wirecard issues, Diokno said the banking industry remains strong and resilient.

He was referring to the alleged violation by some officers of an unnamed universal bank of the BSP’s DOSRI rules with regards to the approval of “over PHP4 billion worth of unreported and illegal DOSRI loan.”

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