April 16, 2020 - His Excellency Governor Azzam Shawwa held a meeting today with twenty-one journalists from various media outlets, via Zoom, at the invitation of Lamit Sahafa and in coordination with the Network of Economic Journalists, in which he addressed the quality and bold instructions and procedures issued by Palestine Monetary Authority to banks and lending institutions, with the aim of mitigating the repercussions of the crisis on the economic sectors, especially small and medium enterprises, tourism and hotels, and making it easy for citizens and borrowers under the current circumstances. As well as maintaining the safety of citizens and employees.
His Excellency the Governor stressed that Palestine Monetary Authority, based on the decision and directives of His Excellency the President to declare a state of emergency in Palestine on March 5, 2020, and the plan of the distinguished government led by the Prime Minister, took strict measures based on a preventive approach. The senior management at Palestine Monetary Authority has since the beginning of the crisis worked around the clock, holding meetings, monitoring, studying and reviewing decisions in accordance with the developments of the crisis, and in coordination with the relevant authorities, especially the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Social Development, the governors, and the security agencies.
His Excellency the Governor presented all the current steps that Palestine Monetary Authority was working on with the banking system to support the government through the aggregate loan from banks, while at the same time monitoring the situation of the market by examining the status of cheques and the exploitation of instructions where mechanisms were being put in place to hold this category accountable.
His Excellency the Governor also pointed out that Palestine Monetary Authority was finalizing the launch of the financing program for SMEs, which would be the main supporter of this category and would be announced soon.
During the meeting, Mr. Shawwa stressed the strength of the banking system and its solvency, where the capital adequacy ratio was 16.5%. The volume of assets reached $17.4 billion, the total facilities were $9.3 billion, and deposits reached $13.57 billion as of the end of last month.
His Excellency the Governor thanked the Palestinian banking system, which had proved time and again that it stood in the first line of defense for our people and our economy, and did not hesitate for a moment to provide all that it could in the time of the crises from a national and humanitarian perspective. Mr. Shawwa pointed out that Palestine Monetary Authority encouraged banks to direct social responsibility budgets to support the efforts of the government and the health sector to address the pandemic of the coronavirus and reduce its spread in Palestine, and to provide resources to support the social safety net for the segments affected by this pandemic. Indeed, banks have raced to support the Wakfet Izz Fund, which was formed under the wise guidance from the esteemed government to deal with the repercussions of the current health crisis.
During the press conference, the Governor answered all the questions of the journalists and thanked them for their efforts and dedication to convey accurate information.