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BSP to revive disaster mng’t plan for banks

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will soon require banks to draw up a business continuity management plan to allow them to serve customers in times of natural disasters.

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the plan would prescribe standards for banks to make sure they remain resilient to natural disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, among others. 

“Banks need to prepare for those so that when such things happen they can be up for business within hours if possible,” he said. 

The Monetary Board, Espenilla said, has approved the new requirement for banks. 

“Of course it cannot happen overnight but it actually gets the banks to already plan ahead and develop the processes that will help them recover and resume operations as soon as possible,” he added. 

Espenilla assured banks would continue to enjoy regulatory relief extended by the BSP in areas affected by disasters such as typhoons. 

The BSP allows banks to provide financial assistance to their officers and employees who were affected by the calamity, including assistance that may not be within the scope of their existing BSP-approved Fringe Benefit Program. 

Likewise, banks are allowed to exclude outstanding loans of borrowers in affected areas from the computation of past due ratios, provided these are restructured or given relief. 

Penalties on legal reserves deficiencies of thrift, rural, cooperative banks with head offices or branches in the affected areas would also not be imposed, while a moratorium would be imposed on monthly payments due to BSP for banks with ongoing rehabilitation programs. 

Furthermore, the BSP provides booking of allowance for probable losses on a staggered basis over a maximum period of five years for all types of credits extended to individuals and businesses directly affected by the calamity. 

The BSP would also not impose monetary penalties for delays in the submission of supervisory reports. 

The regulator would also grant a 60-day grace period to all rediscounting banks in the affected areas to settle their outstanding rediscounting obligations as of Dec. 25 with the BSP. 

In January, the BSP grated temporary regulatory and rediscounting relief measures to banks affected by Typhoon Niña.  

The relief covered banks and financial institutions in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar.

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