As Guyana continues to implement measures to deal with COVID-19, the Bank of Guyana (BOG) is cognizant of the likely economic and financial fallout that may result including/ particularly the negative effects on the banking system.
In this regard, the BOG strongly encourages banks/ financial institutions to offer relief to affected individual and commercial customers by considering the following:
- reduce interest rates on loans and credit cards to customers,
- defer loan payments to assist customers in good standing,
- defer loan payments by companies to assist with their liquidity requirements
- waive or reduce fees/penalties for transactions with ATMs, POS, EFT, debit cards, loan processing, late payments on loans, etc., and
- encourage customers to reduce in-person transactions by using e-banking, ATMs, POS, telephone, etc.
In view of COVID-19, the BOG as the Supervisory Authority will permit the following for affected sectors:
- allow banks to renegotiate credit facilities by waiving paragraphs 14 and 15 of Supervision Guideline No. 5,
- grant a three-month moratorium to classify affected accounts as non-performing,
- ensure the foreign market continues to function to satisfy legitimate needs as well as ensure compliance with Circular No. 5 of 2017 on Bank Cambio Operation, and
- continue with an accommodative monetary stance to promote sustained growth and development of the economy.
The BOG notes that the financial system is safe and sound and reiterates the critical role banks play in the economy. The BOG will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the evolving economic conditions and may consider other measures, if necessary.