The Governing Council of the Bulgarian National Bank confirmed the draft of the Order for deferral and settlement of accounts payable to banks and their subsidiaries – financial institutions in connection with the state of emergency. The Association of Banks in Bulgaria (ABB) provided the draft. Once confirmed, the document constitutes a private moratorium within the meaning of the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) Guidelines on legislative and non-legislative moratoria on loan repayments applied in the light of the COVID-19 crisis. The EBA Guidelines were adopted for compliance with a decision of the BNB Governing Council dated 3 April 2020 and published on the EBA website.
Commercial banks, which have agreed to apply the approved debt deferral order, will announce publicly the relief offered on their website, in bank offices and in any other appropriate manner.
The approved private moratorium provides an opportunity for changes in the repayment schedule of principal and / or interest rates, without changing key parameters of the credit agreement, such as the interest rates already agreed. Debts may be deferred for up to 6 months, ending on December 31, 2020. Deferred payments must have been regularly serviced or with a default of no more than 90 days by March 1, 2020.
Customers must explicitly state to their servicing bank that they wish to benefit from the facilities offered.
Three standardized mechanisms are envisaged:
- Mechanism No. 1 – deferral of principal and interest for up to 6 months;
- Mechanism No. 2 – deferral of principal for up to 6 months;
- Mechanism No. 3 applicable to revolving products.
The respective mechanism will be chosen by mutual agreement between the banks and their clients.
The full text of the approved order for deferral and settlement of required liabilities to banks and their subsidiaries – financial institutions can be read here.
Banks may negotiate with their customers other individual deferral or relief schemes other than those provided for in this order. In such cases, banks will not be able to benefit from the provisional principle introduced by the approved moratorium and following EBA guidelines that deferral or relief does not lead to a reclassification of exposures in the form of restructuring or default.