THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) has extended the deadline for the 2020 audited financial statements of banks and other financial institutions by two months to June 30 to give them more time to comply amid the prolonged crisis.

The BSP said in a statement on Monday that it moved the deadline by 60 days from April 30 initially to align with the new submission date set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC earlier moved the deadline for 2020 annual reports to May 17 from April 15.

It also extended the validity of other relief measures until the end of 2021, including the relaxed notification requirements for changes in banking days and hours, and closures of offices; eased customer identification requirements; and waived the fees for applications on license or authority to provide electronic payments and financial services.

However, the BSP asked banks to post a notice of closure or change of banking hours on their websites, social media accounts, and areas near the affected branch.

The central bank also waived the pre-approval requirement for banks applying for a deadline extension for opening their branches and branch-lite units that have been previously approved for opening. It, however, said banks can only defer the opening of their branches for up to three years from the date of approval by the regulator.

The relief measures were outlined in Memorandum No. M-2021-029 of the BSP, which also required BSFIs to submit a report on the offices and branches that have been temporarily closed and to update on the status of the possible re-opening of the establishments.

“The package of relief measures was adopted in recognition of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation and the need to support BSFI (BSP-supervised financial institutions) operations to ensure uninterrupted access of clients, especially retail customers, to financial products and services,” BSP Governor Diokno Benjamin E. Diokno said.

“The BSP’s measures will complement National Government efforts to distribute financial aid and social amelioration funds to intended beneficiaries,” he added. — BML