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Capping interest rates (Assembly Bill 420) could create bank exodus

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Capping interest rates could create bank exodus


Posted 08/10/2020

The approval of a Bill 420, establishing a ceiling of 1.5%. monthly on interest rates, could see foreign banks leaving Panama says  The Panma Banking Association (ABP).

 The Association  points out that when interest rates charged to clients are capped, banks reduce the supply of loans. An example of this is the situation in Costa Rica after the imposition of maximum interest rates on credit cards .

The entry into force of the law was followed by announcements from different banks about the suspension of cards, the closure of branches and reduction of personnel.

It is estimated that to date banks in Costa Rica  have canceled 250,000 credit cards, leaving an estimated 180,000 Costa Ricans without access to this type of loan.

"The history of Panama and Latin America is full of examples,of how the fixation or artificial regulation of interest rates have caused the withdrawal of resources from the markets," says an Association analysis

According to the study, the fixing of interest rates would reduce the availability of credit in broad sectors of the population, especially the most vulnerable, who would be forced to seek informal sources of credit.

If a cap is imposed on interest rates,  it would be necessary to "consider the high probability that banks with foreign capital will leave the Panamanian market, fleeing the risks that rate regulation entails."

The exit of these banks would mean the departure of billions of foreign deposits that are captured by the Panamanian banking center and that can be loaned in the national economy. This would happen, "just at the moment when the country makes titanic efforts to obtain funds from abroad."



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Capping interest rates (Assembly Bill 420) could create bank exodus
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OPINION: From reality to paradise


Posted 10/10/2020

Some deputies have shown great skill in managing public opinion. By law, they try to make believe that they can change reality for a paradise. The proposal to put a cap on bank interest on credit is one of them. Where do its proponents get that in Panama loans are granted with the highest interest rates in the world? Have they measured the consequences of their proposal? In Panama, there are enough banks for there to be healthy competition and we have seen and experienced that for decades. The payment terms, interest, etc., found in the market, have allowed access to credit to people with very limited resources. What they are doing is demonizing one of the most competitive industries in the country. Instead of their verbose irrelevant demagoguery, why not put a limit on hiring employees in the state? Why not put a limit on so much credit that will force us to tax reforms that we will all regret? Why not limit so much useless spending on cars, travel, wages, and privileges? If they were able to set the example, many would follow, but now they demand what even they cannot meet: limits. LA PRENSA, Oct 10



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