Senator Grace Poe asked the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to exert its persuasive powers on banks to provide relief to consumers during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
“The BSP has lowered interest rates and provided banks regulatory relief. In the same way, it can encourage banks to provide their clients relief during these difficult times. Banks are expected to share the same breathing room with consumers,” Poe said.
It is well within the BSP’s authority to ask banks to pass on such relief, the veteran legislator stressed.
The International Monetary Fund, in its assessment of the Philippine economy released recently, noted that the amount of bad loans has not risen as much as initially expected.
The chairperson of the Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies acknowledged the BSP for having laid down the groundwork for banks to strengthen their capital years ago.
Stress test results for this year showed that banks’ solvency and liquidity are relatively resilient.
“We are a consumer-driven economy and helping them get back on their feet is crucial in sustaining economic recovery.”
“Providing consumers payment flexibility during the ECQ may just be what they need to stave off financial ruin. We are a consumer-driven economy and helping them get back on their feet is crucial in sustaining economic recovery,” the seasoned lawmaker said.
According to the BSP’s latest data, total loans of commercial and universal banks amounted to P9.8 trillion as of end-June 2021.
Consumer loans, dubbed by BSP as loans for household consumption, amounted to only P817.4 billion, which is barely a 10th of total loans.
“Without any relief or loan restructuring, they can easily lose a home or livelihood.”
“Big companies can call their banks and ask for lower interest and an extension of the payment period,” the lady senator said, “But for small borrowers, it is never that easy. Without any relief or loan restructuring, they can easily lose a home or livelihood. For TNVS drivers, they will be deprived of their vehicle and source of income. If we only think long-term, we will extend a helping hand to consumers.”
As sponsor, she earlier led the passage of the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act or Republic Act 11523 that allows banks to offload their nonperforming loans to FIST corporations to enable banks to bankroll activities that will fuel the country’s economic recovery.Share this article: