January 29, 2023

Thrift banks (TBs) and rural and cooperative banks (RCBs) have responded to the call for increased lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to help the latter cope with the impact of the pandemic.
 “We’ve seen improvement in the amount of lending to the MSME sectors, especially coming from thrift banks and rural and cooperative banks,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila said during the virtual briefing of the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee.
 He said MSME lending of RCBs accounted for 35 percent of the industry’s total loan portfolio of P151.9 billion as of end-April 2020.
 “Top RCBs continue to generate new MSME loans amounting to P783 million during the enhanced community quarantine period,” he added.
 Dakila said MSME lending of RCBs increased by 23.3 percent while that of TBs rose by 6.8 percent after the BSP allowed TBs and RCBs’ MSME lending as compliance to the reserve requirement ratio (RRR).
 The BSP’s decision was made to ensure that MSMEs will continue to have access to liquidity despite the hardships brought about by the pandemic.
Earlier, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said about 88 rural banks availed of the relief measure and extended about P44.2 billion worth of MSME loans, higher compared to the P9.9B extended by 55 banks after the central bank issued Circular 1087 last May 27.
 This alternative RRR compliance policy can be availed off by TBs and RCBs until Dec. 30, 2021. – PNA release

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