A joint statement of the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance
Skopje, 26 March 2020
A Decree has been adopted regulating that the banks and savings houses can offer citizens and businesses an extension of installment payments and other benefits in а state of emergency to facilitate loan servicing during the Corona crisis. It was prepared by the National Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Macedonian Banking Association aimed to simplify and speed up the implementation of opportunities provided by the regulatory amendments adopted by the National Bank, aimed at alleviating the financial burden on the households and businesses who have faced or could face real difficulties in repaying loans to banks and savings houses due to the Corona crisis.
The Decree allows for faster and more straightforward procedure of changing the loan agreement terms, without jeopardizing public health - without visiting branch offices and windows or queuing to sign annexes to contracts.
Banks and savings houses may offer more favorable loan agreement terms without having received a request from the clients concerned, by:
- publishing an offer for changing the loan repayment terms on their websites, and/or
- notices to clients, by electronic and/or written correspondence.
The Decree stipulates that if the natural person does not inform the bank/savings house in writing or electronically within 10 days of the announcement i.e. receipt of the offer that he/she refuses the offered financial burden relief, it shall be considered that the offer for changing the loan agreement terms is accepted.
In order to use the favorable contractual terms offered, legal entities will have to notify the bank or the savings house in writing that they accept the offer. Should the legal entity fail to do so within ten days pursuant to the Decree, the offer shall be deemed to have been rejected.
The borrowers’ right to address the banks and savings houses remains, if they consider that they need it. They can do that electronically or in writing, and receive the reply electronically.
As already announced, in line with the regulatory amendments adopted, banks and savings houses can offer the following additional benefits to the concerned citizens and businesses:
- 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, housing, mortgage, car loans etc.,
- credit cards,
- corporate loans.
During the drafting of the Decree, banks and savings houses expressed their willingness to respond to the needs and requirements of borrowers affected by the Corona crisis. As previously indicated, they are motivated to offer the concerned citizens and businesses favorable opportunities to change the existing loan agreement terms. It is in their interest to help citizens and businesses weather the current shock and have the capacity to service their debts.
In easing the financial burden on borrowers hit by the Corona crisis, banks and savings houses will adhere to the clearly defined criteria in the Decision on the methodology for credit risk management adopted by the National Bank Council.
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National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia