Originally published by Arias Fabrega & Fabrega on 04/11/2020
Although no mandatory measures have been implemented, the Superintendent of Banks of Panama (the “SBP”), by means of Accord SBP No. 2-2020, adopted measures to allow banks to implement the necessary mechanisms to support its customers, both personal banking and commercial and corporate customers. A modality called “modified loans” was established by which banks are allowed to review the terms and conditions of loans, without being characterized as a refinancing and thus maintaining the credit score. Many banks have already published the different available mechanisms they offer. We recommend you contact your local bank to discuss possible modifications that apply to you.As a relief measure, more than 20 local banks, which together represent approximately 95% of the loan portfolio, will grant an automatic extension to their clients on personal loans, mortgages, credit cards and car loans in the payment of their monthly payments for three months without client’s having to file a request with the bank. Banks will continue to receive those payments made via payroll deduction and those made voluntarily. In addition, several banks are providing flexibility for commercial loans. For corporate customers with credit facilities, we recommend you contact your bank officer or attorney to discuss the impact of a potential non-compliance with financial covenants, and whether these covenants may be modified as part of the “modified loans” mechanism.