Bankers vow continued services, reasonable lending rates

March 31, 2020

The Bankers Association of the Philippines has urged its members to continue providing necessary services to the public and maintain reasonable lending rates as the island of Luzon and other areas are put under enhanced community quarantine to deter the further spread of the coronavirus disease.

In a statement,  the BAP asked its member banks to maintain reasonable lending rates; maintain a level of branch presence that allows for the execution of transactions that cannot be performed digitally; keep digital channels open; ensure availability of cash in open branches and the majority of ATMs; and, contribute to stable and liquid financial markets.

The BAP noted that “the Bangko Sentral has reduced both the policy rate and reserve requirements, and has taken steps to ease the regulatory burden borne by banks”.

It also recognized the passage of “the Bayanihan Act, which gives the executive branch extraordinary powers to address the current crisis”.

Lawmakers  and other sectors of society earlier appealed to all government and privately owned banks, quasi-banks, credit and lending facilities, financial institutions and the like to keep their services functional and convenient and to allow a grace period for the payment of loans amid the ongoing quarantine measures.

Banks and other financial institutions in the country were urged not to increase interest rates for consumer and commercial loans while most areas in the country are still under enhanced community quarantine.