In a context in which credit cards are the most expensive product in the financial system, with rates of up to 141.9% (see infographic), the Congress It is promoting that the municipal savings banks can issue them to generate competition. And it is that currently only banks and finance companies are directly authorized, while the rest of the entities require a special permit.
In detail, the opinion approved in the Consumer Defense Commission provides that if municipal savings banks have been operating for more than 2 years and have assets of more than 75,000 UIT (S / 330 million), they may issue and manage credit cards directly, without prior authorization from the Superintendency of Banking, Insurance and AFP (SBS).
According Jorge Carrillo Acosta, teacher of Pacific Bussines School10 of the 12 existing municipal savings banks would meet these requirements to offer credit cards. And only the Del Santa and Paita boxes would not meet this required minimum.
Feasibility of the proposal
The former head of the SBS Juan Jose Marthans He was in favor of the objective of the measure, which is to promote competition, but said that the law could not be applied without the technical support of the superintendency and the Central Reserve Bank of Peru (BCRP). This in reference to the fact that the ruling provides that the savings banks issue credit cards without prior authorization from the SBS.
“The proposal to allow microfinance institutions to expand the range of financial products in favor of users of population segments B, C, D and E seems to me to be well intentioned in principle; there is a good purpose. But you must consider the need for these types of elements that are incorporated into the regulatory framework of the microfinance system are conducted in great detail by the SBS and the Central Bank ”, emphasized the also director of Economics of the PAD of the University of Piura.
Marthans emphasized the need for the SBS to establish the fence and operating conditions to require microfinance institutions to issue cards. And after an individual evaluation give them authorization. “This generates two impulses. First there will be more competition that will benefit the user. And, second, a market incentive for microfinance institutions that do not have sufficient conditions to grant these products to do so and once they achieve it, they are given authorization “, he pointed out.
It should be noted that in April of this year the SBS created the simplified procedure to expedite the issuance of credit cards by microfinance entities. The conditions to apply consist of having a risk classification “B-” or higher in the last semester, being authorized to issue debit cards, having an adequate organizational structure, computer systems and complying with the current regulation of these operations.
Support of the SBS before the proposal
Through a trade, The SBS stated that for municipal savings banks to issue credit cards, prior authorization is required to evaluate their capacity. and ensure adequate management of the risks they entail.
“The opposite situation would expose the CMACs to significant financial losses that could affect their solvency, as well as their savers,” he said.
Juan José Marthans, former head of the SBS
“We must incorporate elements that promote competition within the market, without a doubt. But you have to seek technical opinion and let the SBS define it on a case-by-case basis ”.
Jorge Carrillo Acosta, Finance specialist
“The initiative seems reasonable in the sense of promoting greater competition, but it must be taken into account that the credit card is a product that requires particular risk management.”
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