SEC asks finance firms to offer borrower relief

sec asks finance firms to offer borrower relief - SEC asks finance firms to offer borrower relief

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is appealing to financing and lending companies to relax their requirements for borrowers while Luzon is under quarantine.

In a notice on its website, the corporate regulator asked firms to consider measures like loan term extensions and suspension of collection to help the community during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We call on financing and lending companies to adopt all possible measures that will help ease the burden of their borrowers amid this public health emergency, which has disrupted the everyday lives of Filipinos, including their livelihoods,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said in a statement.

Among the measures it recommended are lower interest rates, penalty waivers or fee reductions, extended loan terms, suspended collections, and debt consolidation.

The SEC said its Corporate Governance and Finance Department is in direct talks with financing and lending firms about which it has received complaints from the public.

It also noted some are implementing debt relief measures, such as the 18 members of the Philippine Finance Association that have reportedly extended payment deadlines without penalty.

Some firms that have announced extended payment deadlines are BDO Unibank Inc.; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; Bank of the Philippine Islands; Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.; Union Bank of the Philippines; East West Banking Corp.; China Banking Corp.; CIMB Bank Philippines; and Philippine Savings Bank.

Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine until mid-April. — Denise A. Valdez

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