SEC lays down framework for disposal of bank NPAs

The Securities and Exchange Commission has crafted the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of a law that allows banks to unload distressed assets into a separate corporate entity to clean up their balance sheets and hasten their recovery.

The proposed IRR, which are now available for public comment, will govern the creation of corporations that invest in or acquire non-performing assets of banks, lending and financing firms, investment houses and insurance companies as mandated under the Financial Institution Strategic Transfer Act (FIST).

A FIST corporation shall have a minimum authorized capital of P500 million, of which P125 million shall be subscribed and at least P31.25 million paid up in cash.

To avail of the privileges and incentives provided under the law, a FIST corporation must register with the SEC within three years from the effectivity of the FIST Act.

A financial institution that intends to transfer NPAs to a FIST corporation shall file an application for eligibility of said assets in the prescribed format with the appropriate regulatory authority for each transfer.

The assets should have become non-performing on or before December 31, 2022. Non-performing loans include receivables and restructured loans whose principal and/or interest have remained unpaid for at least 90 days after they have become past due or after any events of default under the loan agreement.

Financial institutions may likewise transfer to FISTCs real and other properties acquired (ROPA) in settlement of loans and receivables, including shares of stocks and personal properties acquired by way of dation in payment or judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure or execution of judgment or enforcement of security interest.

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