Banks told to ensure cash, services

Published August 9, 2020, 9:00 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reminded banks to ensure continuing financial services to the public such as in account opening and in the availability of cash during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

 In a memo (Memorandum Order M-2020-062), BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier said all BSP-supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) are also expected to implement or “adopt appropriate business strategies” that will meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said banks should be “more agile, flexible, and responsive to the financial services needs of the public and operational requirements” now that the BSP and the banking sector are transitioning under the New Economy Arrangement or NEA.

 Fonacier said that as majority of the population remains confined during the two-week MECQ period or until August 18, she is enjoining banks and other supervised institutions to be prepared and “enforce operational capabilities” for the increase in account opening during the next weeks. She also sees a rise in basic financial and payment transactions through online financial platforms such as internet and mobile banking.

 “As mobility restrictions limit branch operations, BSFIs should ensure that basic cash services are always available through timely and adequate provisioning of cash in the ATM terminals,” said Fonacier in the memo.

 Banks are also reminded to closely monitor “other operational issues that may have significant business impact, which include but are not limited to cybersecurity concerns, critical third party service provider issues, and customer complaints.”

 Some areas in the National Capital Region and other locations reverted back to the stricter MECQ last August 4 after a surge in the number of infected COVID-19 individuals and a sector of the overwhelmed health workers appealed for a reprieve.