BSP extends and enhances relief measures

Published May 3, 2021, 4:34 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is extending and adding other relief measures to ensure the uninterrupted operation of both banks and non-banks amid the COVID-19 public health crisis.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said these enhancements to operational relief measures allow BSP supervised financial institutions (BSFIs) flexibility to manage their operations while still on various lockdown phases.

“The package of relief measures was adopted in recognition of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation and the need to support BSFI operations to ensure uninterrupted access of clients, especially retail customers, to financial products and services,” said Diokno, adding that the BSP’s measures “will complement National Government efforts to distribute financial aid and social amelioration funds to intended beneficiaries.”

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno (Credit: BSP photo)

Based on Memorandum No. M-2021-029, signed by BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier last Friday (April 30), the BSP is extending operational relief measures until end-December 2021 such as: the relaxation in the notification requirements for changes in banking days and hours, as well as temporary closure of BSFI head office, branches, branch-lite-units (BLUs), offices and service units; relaxation in the customer identification requirements; and waiver of the BSP fees related to the grant of license or authority to provide Types A and B Advanced Electronic Payments and Financial Services.

The BSP is also extending by another 60 days the deadline for BSFIs’ 2020 Audited Financial Statements to June 30 this year.

In addition, the BSP will not require its usual prior approval for requests for extension of the deadline to open approved but not yet opened bank branches/BLUs.

“A bank which opts to avail of this relief must notify its supervising department of the deferment of the opening of its approved but not yet opened branches/BLUs on or before end-December 2021. The period of deferment of the opening of the bank branch/BLU should not exceed three years from the date of BSP approval of the establishment of the same,” said Fonacier in the circular memo.