By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
THE CENTRAL Bank yesterday announced the temporary relaxation of lending guidelines to domestic banks to facilitate access to credit by households and businesses on islands ravaged by Hurricane Dorian.
The Central Bank in a notice on its website said: “In the aftermath of the significant damages caused by Hurricane Dorian to several northern Bahama Islands and to facilitate access by households and businesses to credit facilities in those islands for relief purposes, the Central Bank of The Bahamas announces the temporary relaxation of lending guidelines to domestic banks.”
According to the regulator, banks are advised that in respect of hurricane relief facilities, the mandatory 15 percent equity contribution will not apply. The Central Bank also stated the threshold debt service ratio of 40 percent to 45 percent is waived for distressed borrowers.
“Banks may adopt flexible but prudent arrangements in line with borrowers’ financial capacity. The Central Bank will continue to monitor the situation and advise of any further change in this policy,” the bank said.
The Central Bank also said yesterday it is committed to supporting both the spiritual and financial recovery of the country and will make a donation of $250,000 to hurricane relief efforts.
“The Bank will also match financial donations made by its employees. The Bank looks forward to a similar spirit of generosity from the rest of the financial community. The Governor, Board of Directors and staff of the Central Bank of The Bahamas continues to pray for the comfort and relief of all persons and families throughout our archipelago touched by this storm,” the bank said.