BSP preparing resiliency plan for rural banking industry

BSP preparing resiliency plan for rural banking industry

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said it launched a Rural Banking Industry Strengthening Program to make the industry more resilient and responsive to the needs of their host communities.

The BSP said an interagency working group will run the program, headed by Monetary Board (MB) member Bruce J. Tolentino, along with officials from the Agriculture and Trade departments.

“The (program) is part of the BSP’s broader and continuing efforts to boost the resilience of the rural banking industry, which is a key agent of countryside development as it provides financial services to rural communities, including micro, small and medium enterprises,” BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement Friday.

A technical working group, chaired by BSP Financial Supervision Sector Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier, will also help the steering committee create the action plan and capacity-building program for the rural banks.

“These strengthening efforts will benefit the agricultural sector and the micro, small and medium enterprises in the rural areas which are the main clients of rural banks,” Ms. Fonacier said.

She said the group will explore initiatives that will improve the operations, capacity and competitiveness of rural banks.

“The MB and BSP have been increasingly focused on ways for the financial system to be more inclusive and enabling for rural and agricultural growth. The rural banks have an important role to play in this effort,” Mr. Tolentino said.

The two groups are tasked to submit an initial batch of policy, program and reform proposals to the Monetary Board towards the end of the year. – Beatrice M. Laforga

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