Additional incentives for SME lending planned
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is studying additional perks for lending to small businesses as part of its financial inclusion thrust.
The BSP is also conducting a value chain financing (VCF) study on various small and medium enterprise sectors (SMEs) to identify various VCF models for SMEs that work in the Philippines, explore potential regulatory incentives to further encourage SME financing and other types of support and enable SMEs to be financially included and enjoy the benefits of participating in the value chain.
BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said this in a speech during the 60th anniversary celebration of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines last week.
Espenilla noted that in the case of the agricultural sector, the BSP had issued guidelines on agricultural value chain financing, which opened up credit provision to all players in an organized value chain.
“This framework aims to promote VCF as an effective, organized means of channeling funds to the agri-fisheries sector, promoting their financial inclusion,” he explained.
By encouraging linkages among various players in an agri-value chain, Espenilla said the credit risk of participating smallholder farmers and fisherfolk could be reduced which would result in greater access to credit, the BSP chief added.
Last year, the Monetary Board, the BSP’s highest policymaking body, approved the agricultural VCF framework.
The framework listed the regulatory incentives to be granted to financial institutions that would engage in such type of financing, including direct or allowable alternative compliance to the mandatory agri-agra reform credit allocation.
Also to be given is an additional 25-percent increase in the single borrower’s limit for loans granted to borrowers involved in agricultural value chains for a three-year period.—BEN O. DE VERA
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