On April 21 the Senate’s First Committee received the President of Asobancaria, Santiago Castro to discuss the actions taken by banking institutions within the framework of the economic crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The senators agreed to conduct a session with financial entities in the coming days to analyze consumer complaints about difficulties accessing credit. In other news, the Senate’s Third Committee called a meeting with Bank of the Republic (BanRep, in Spanish) representatives to discuss a report on the economic contingency measures taken by the BanRep in response to the pandemic.
The First Committee senators questioned the President of Asobancaria about the complaints made by small and medium entrepreneurs concerning difficulties in accessing credit. José Gaviria, (Centro Democrático – ruling party) declared that the banks “are not lending any money to rescue the payroll, so they are going to let them perish,” and proposed granting more opportunities to promote Fintech companies. Castro replied by telling congressmen not to confuse “the function of the banks with that of public policies” and explained that banks had lent USD 4.8 billion without any form of guarantee scheme and are worried about maintaining their level of solvency.
The Senate’s Third Committee hosted the Manager of the Banco de la República, Juan José Echavarría Soto to a meeting on April 22, during which legislators discussed their political control and supervision tasks regarding the monetary policies adopted by the entity in response to the crisis created by the pandemic. The issues included support for liquidity, interest rates, access to credit and inflation control and have been recorded in the following document.