BPI installs acrylic screens to protect workers, clients

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - March 28, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is set to install acrylic screens to help protect clients and employees from the coronavirus disease (COVID 19).

In a statement, BPI President and chief executive officer Cezar Consing said that the bank acrylic screens are currently being delivered to the first batch of branches.

Acrylic sheets are thermoplastics, often purchased in sheets as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass.

“As a bank, we have to help ensure that the financial system continues to operate efficiently, no matter how trying the circumstances. We have to do our part to minimize the chances that a health crisis becomes an economic crisis. And we have to do this in a way that minimizes the health risks to the people that we have deployed,” Consing said.

BPI has implemented initiatives to make sure financial transactions are not hampered due to strict “stay-at-home” measures implemented by the government.

Select BPI branches as well as those of its subsidiaries BPI Family Savings Bank and BanKo remain open to attend to clients basic banking needs with all over-the-counter (OTC) fees temporarily waived.

For its skeletal staffing, BPI is providing special food and transportation allowances, and arranging carpooling or transportation to help employees get to their workplace assignments, he added.

Meanwhile, for frontliners such as those in the medical field including doctors and nurses, as well as policemen and soldiers who are on duty or called on by the government to deliver service during the enhanced community quarantine period-- are given the option to avail of a 90-day deferral in their existing auto and housing loan payments, interest-free.

The Ayala-led universal bank also offered a 30-day grace period for its clients, applicable to personal loans, home loans, auto loans, SME loans, and microfinance loans. All are subject to certain terms and conditions.

Credit card holders also have the option to defer payment for 30 days without incurring late payment charges.

Transfer fees to other banks using InstaPay and PESONet are waived, as well as transfer fees to other BPI accounts using its mobile app for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine period.

BPI’s remittance partners also either waived fees or offered discounts for overseas Filipinos: Kookmin (discounted fees until December 31, 2020), i-Remit (waived fees from March 21-22, 2020), and Remitly (waived fees and higher FX rates from March 25 to June 30, 2020).

As the need for social distancing becomes more critical, BPI is also advocating online banking to minimize the need for branch visits during this time. BPI clients are encouraged to do their everyday banking with BPI Online and Mobile App.

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