Trouble repaying loans? Talk to your bank says BSP chief

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2020 02:46 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2020 05:38 PM

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) governor, Benjamin Diokno at work on March 12, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE) -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno urged consumers on Monday to discuss interest rates with their banks if they are having trouble paying loans.

Consumers can renegotiate interest rates with their banks given that the central bank reduced the rates used by banks for pricing of loans, Diokno said.

"Kung nahihirapan ka rin magbayad ng interes eh puwede mo naman kausapin ang mga bangko kasi tinulungan namin ang bangko," Diokno said during a Palace press briefing.

(If you are having a hard time paying the interest, you can talk to your bank because we helped the banks.)

"Tinulungan ng Bangko Sentral ang mga bangko with some relief measures para tulungan nila rin yung kanilang mga kliyente either individuals or mga korporasyon," he added.

(The central bank helped banks with some relief measures so that in turn, they would also help their clients whether they are individuals or small corporations.)

Last month, the BSP reduced the rate used by banks to price loans by 50 basis points, bringing it to a record low of 2.25 percent.

Diokno said borrowers can also renegotiate the terms of their loans for extension, in the spirit of Bayanihan.

"Kung iyong bangko naman eh tinatrato nila iyong kanilang mga borrowers as their clients, I think in the spirit of Bayanihan talagang puwede naman nilang tulungan actually, kasi nga mababa na ang interest rate ngayon," he said.

(If the banks treat borrowers as their clients, I think in the spirit of Bayanihan, they can actually help because interest rates are low now.)

"They just have to, maybe, repackage or restructure iyong loan para makabayad sila (so they can pay)," he added.

Diokno also clarified that banks should not impose additional fees on the interest rates of loans that were subject to a moratorium during the Luzon-wide lockdown from March to May.