Government instructs state commercial banks to readjust loans

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Anticipating the effects on the economy of the national emergency due to coronavirus 19 (COVID-19), this Wednesday, directive 075-H was signed to instruct the commercial banks of the State to carry out, in the exercise of their constitutional autonomy, all necessary and effective measures to readjust the debts of the debtors affected by the current situation.

The measure –signed by the President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado and the Minister of Finance, Rodrigo Chaves– is promoted by the Government’s Economic Council and comes after the Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Costa Rica reduced by 100 points on Monday base the Monetary Policy Rate in order to pressure down interest rates in the market and create favorable credit conditions to face the economic impact of COVID-19.

The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, requested the collaboration of the banks to carry out the necessary steps to “facilitate and make more flexible the payment of debts so that people can fulfill their obligations in this very difficult period.”

The guideline urges banks to assess measures such as the following:

  1. Decrease in interest rates according to the conditions of each credit.
  2. Extension of the term of the credits.
  3. Extension in the payment of the principal and / or interest for the time that is necessary.
  4. Extraordinary payments to the principal amount without penalty.

“In light of the sanitary measures that we as a country have had to take to avoid a strong impact of COVID-19, the adequacy of credits will be vital to give liquidity to companies and households and prevent the destruction of jobs that are impacted by their economy by the national and world situation. We are confident in the positive response of the banking sector and we will continue to value more options in response to the needs that arise, “said Pilar Garrido Gonzalo, coordinator of the Government’s Economic Council and minister of National Planning and Economic Policy.

Additionally, the guideline urges the Banco Popular y de Desarrollo Comunal and all financial institutions operating in the country to apply measures in this regard. Banks must make internal adjustments without exposing the optimal operation of the banking institution.

In addition to this initiative, the National Council for the Supervision of the Financial System approved to extend to June 30, 2021 the option of renegotiating the agreed loan conditions up to twice in a 24-month period, without these adjustments having negative effects on the debtor’s file at the Credit Information Center (CIC).

This measure covers loans of more than ₡ 100 million and those equal to or less than this amount that already have two adjustments in the last 24 months.

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