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  • ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE ENTITIES IN CHARGE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Article:

ANALYSIS OF THE MEASURES ADOPTED BY THE ENTITIES IN CHARGE OF FINANCIAL REGULATION AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

25 March 2020

Rafael Rivera , Managing Partner / Legal Services & Tax Partner |

In line with the measures adopted by the National Government aimed at mitigating the spread of CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) and taking into account the economic impact of this crisis, some regulatory entities of the national financial sector join the efforts to counteract the negative impact of this national emergency.

These measures have been adopted in accordance with the recommendations made by the Ministry of Health, for and above all to generate stability for the regulated subjects, who are impacted by the pandemic and the restrictions adopted by the National Government.

Superintendency of Insurance and Reinsurance of Panama (SSRP, for its acronym in Spanish).

Insurance companies must continue to cover the expenses of their contractors in accordance with the coverage agreed in their policies and encourage them to attend to claims for the products they offer. This first pronouncement is aimed at strengthening the commitment of this entity towards those insured persons who could be affected by the particular conditions of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).

Subsequently, on March 17th, 2020, a statement was issued suspending the administrative complaint processes and the actions derived from them that must be filed with the Superintendency of Insurance until March 31st, 2020, with the exception that, internally, the active files will continue their regular course.

On the other hand, with respect to the measures of direct application to regulated entities, we would like to highlight the following:

CIRCULAR No. SSRP-013-2020 of March 17th, 2020

"Use and restitution of the reserve for catastrophic risks and provision for statistical deviations." These considerations will allow companies in the insurance market to make use of the catastrophe fund and likewise make use of the forecast reserves for statistical deviations, provided that the requirements for these are met.

Resolution No. DG-SSRP-010 of March 19th, 2020

This Resolution grants insurance brokers a grace period of 90 calendar days for the payment of the annual fee and for the delivery of liability bonds. The acceptance of this term shall not generate delays or surcharges before this institution.  

Resolution No. DG-011 of March 19th, 2020.

This Resolution extends the deadline for the submission of quarterly reports by regulated entities until May 31st, 2020.   

 

Superintendency of Stock Market Republic of Panama (SMV, for its acronym in Spanish).  

Acting within its legal powers, the SMV has applied the recommendations for protection of the institution's employees as a first measure of containment and has subsequently established special considerations for the subjects it regulates.

General Resolution SMV No. JD-2-20 of March 16th, 2020

This resolution empowers the regulated subjects to implement the telework modality, and also extends until April 30th the deadline for the delivery of information by the regulated subjects, including the registered issuers, whose delivery date was stipulated for March and April.

Statement No. 1 of March 17th, 2020

This statement adds the regulations established in the General Resolution SMV No. JD-2-20 of March 16th, 2020, and also suspends from April 17th for two weeks, all administrative sanctioning procedures that are advanced.  According to the statement, only inspections that are necessary for the prevention of money laundering, financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction will be carried out. 

Statement No. 2 of March 20th, 2020

This statement maintains the sanitary measures and establishes that the entity continues with its functions of monitoring stock market operations and risks.

 

Bank Superintendence of Panama (SBP, for its acronym in Spanish).

Among the measures that would most affect the development of economic activity, those taken by the SBP should be the most significant and have the greatest impact on the economy. 

Specifically, temporary measures were adopted to modify the terms and conditions of loans in order to make them more flexible in favor of borrowers, with the aim of achieving stability in the banking system with respect to CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19).

Statement No. 4 of March 16th, 2020

“SBP urges calm and caution on Covid-19”.

Rule No. 002-2020 of March 16th, 2020

“Establishes additional, exceptional and temporary measures to comply with the provisions contained in Rule No. 4-2013 on credit risk”.

This agreement includes the type of modified loans, their characteristics, the rules that regulate them, and the evaluation method for granting them.

It also regulates the use of Dynamic Provisioning.

Statement No. 5 of March 16th, 2020

“SBP issues temporary measures to modify credit terms and conditions”.

This statement corresponds to the measures adopted by Rule No. 002-2020 of March 16th, 2020.

General Resolution No. SBP-RG-0001-2020

This resolution establishes the method used for the presentation of complaints and claims, additionally ordering the suspension of the administrative procedural terms for 15 working days, extendable as of March 19th, 2020.

 

In short, the SBP has chosen to give the regulated subjects the flexibility to renegotiate terms and conditions with the borrowers, taking into account the particular facts and conditions of each one in this crisis situation. Without a doubt, in the short term it will be necessary to evaluate whether these measures are sufficient or whether it will be necessary to adopt other more drastic measures in accordance with the reality of the market.

In summary, even though at this time, in the face of the coronavirus crisis, privatization takes precedence over other interests, measures to strengthen, mitigate and regulate the financial sector are extremely important for the economy in general and the financial system in particular.