Decree is adopted, regulating that the banks and the saving houses can offer, in the course of the state of emergency, extension of installment payments and other benefits for the citizens and the companies, thus easing the loan repayment during the Coronavirus crisis. It is prepared jointly by the National Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Macedonian Banking Association, all to the end, in a state of emergency, for the possibilities, provided under the regulatory amendments adopted by the National Bank, to be implemented in a swifter and more straightforward manner, aimed at easing the financial burden on the citizens and the companies which, due to the Coronavirus crisis, face or could face real difficulties in repaying the loans to the banks and the saving houses.

Under the Decree, it is provided for the change to the loan contractual terms and conditions to be implemented in a swifter and more straightforward manner, without thereby jeopardizing the public health – without having to come to the branch offices in person and waiting in line at the counters to sign the annexes to the contracts.

 The banks and the saving houses can offer more favourable contractual terms and condition even without having received prior application by the affected clients, as follows:

  • by announcing, on their websites, an offer to change the loan repayment terms and conditions and/or
  • by individual notification to the clients, electronically and/or via written correspondence.

Pursuant to the Decree, if a natural person, within ten days following the announcement, i.e. receiving the offer, fails to inform the bank/the saving house, in writing or electronically, that he/she rejects the offered easing of the financial burden, it will be deemed that the offer for change of the contractual terms and conditions is accepted.

In order to use the offered more favourable contractual terms and conditions, the legal entities will have to inform the bank or the saving house of their acceptance in writing or electronically.  Should a legal entity fail to do so within ten days, pursuant to the Decree, it shall be deemed that the offer is accepted.

The rights of the borrowers to address the banks and the saving houses still remains, should they believe there is a need to do so. Thereby, it is envisaged for they to address the banks and the saving houses electronically or in writing, while the reply will be sent to them electronically.

As already announced, in line with the adopted regulatory amendments, the banks and the saving house can offer the following benefits to the affected citizens and companies:

  • extension, i.e. grace period for loan repayment;
  • prolonging the loan repayment for an extended period;
  • lower interest rate, etc.

This applies to all credit products:

  • consumer, home, mortgage, car loans, etc.;
  • credit cards;
  • overdrafts;
  • corporate loans.

Even during the preparation of the Decree, both the banks and the saving houses expressed their willingness to respond to the needs and the requests of the borrowers affected by the Coronavirus crisis. In fact, as pointed out previously, they are motivated to offer favourable opportunities to the affected citizens and companies to change the existing contractual terms and conditions. Moreover, it is in their interest to help the citizens and the companies to overcome this shock and have the capacity to service their liabilities.

In easing the financial burden on the citizens and the companies using loans, being affected by the Coronavirus crisis, both the banks and the saving houses will adhere to the clearly set criteria in the Decision on the Methodology for Credit Risk Management adopted by the National Bank Council.

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