Central Bank Defines Banking and Financial Operations During Mandatory Quarantine
20 marzo 2020

On March 20 the Central Bank issued communication A6942, setting out how banking and financial operations are to be carried out during the quarantine established by the Executive Branch, in force since March 20 through March 31.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Financial and exchange entities may not open their branches to serve the public. During this period they must provide services remotely and guarantee the sufficient provision of funds at ATMs.
  • Financing maturities between March 20 and 31, will go to April 1, 2020.  
  • There will be no electronic check clearing during the quarantine. This will resume on April 1.
  • Financial institutions will be able to operate among themselves and with their customers remotely.
  • The BCRA will guarantee operations through SIOPEL for wholesale exchange operations.
  • Electronic payment methods, ATM and transfer networks, credit and debit card administrators and payment service providers, among others, must remain operational.
  • The stock exchange and capital market will operate remotely.

In addition, the Central Bank issued communication A6941 authorizing  the incorporation of co-owners to savings banks to repatriate funds from personal property. To add a co-owner, the latter must be the declarant and co-owner of the corresponding account from which the funds are transferred from abroad. In this sense, the credits may only be pursuant to transfers from abroad made by one of the holders of the repatriation accounts.

Moreover, on March 25 the Government issued Decree 312/2020, which suspends the obligation to close, disqualify or impose fines and penalties on company or individual bank accounts guilty of issuing bad checks until April 30, 2020. It also suspended until April 30 the obligation for credit institutions to require employers, prior to granting credit, to produce a certificate or affidavit stating that they do not owe any back taxes and that, having benefited from the moratorium, they are up-to-date with their payments.