The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has requested the licensed banks to provide appropriate concessions, for a period of six months, to borrowers whose income or businesses have been adversely affected due to the current macro-economic situation and/or due to COVID-19 pandemic while preventing any undue stress on the banking sector stability.
While issuing a notice, the CBSL said with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had introduced several concessionary schemes since March 2020 to assist affected borrowers.
Such concessions include concessionary debt moratoria, loan restructuring/rescheduling, suspension of recovery actions, low-cost working capital loans and waivers of fees and charges for certain banking transactions.
These concessions were provided to individuals including private sector employees and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and other businesses engaged in tourism, transportation, manufacturing, services, agriculture, construction, apparel, IT and related logistic services.
Accordingly, the last phase of the moratorium granted to COVID-19 affected borrowers ended on Deceber 31, 2021, while the last phase of the moratorium granted to the tourism sector ended on June 30, 2022.
In the meantime, CBSL required the licensed banks to set up post- COVID-19 revival units in licensed banks in order to identify and assist under performing and non performing borrowers affected by the pandemic for the purpose of reviving viable businesses with the potential of contributing to the national economic growth, thus facilitating the unwinding of moratorium in a sustainable manner.
Considering the current macro-economic challenges and the requests made by several stakeholders including Government Institutions.
These concessions are provided on a case-by-case basis depending on the future repayment capacity of the individuals and the viability of businesses/ projects, the CBSL said.