Circular No. 272 (microfinance operations)

Philippines

(enacted in 2001)

Circular No. 272 of 2001, issued by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), includes guidelines to help banks implement Sections 40, 43 and 44 of the General Banking Law of 2000 on microfinance operations. Thrift banks are governed by this circular.

The circular does the following:

  • Defines microfinance loans;
  • States the maximum principal amount of such loans;
  • Provides details on amortization;
  • Sets a floor for interest rates;
  • For loans that meet certain criteria, banks may not require from its credit applicants statements of assets and liabilities, and income and expenditure;
  • Microfinance loans shall be considered in compliance with required loans to small and medium enterprises under R.A.6977; and
  • Lists circumstances when a bank can be exempted from certain requirements.