The RSBP is a valuable part of EBRD’s COVID-19 response 

 

At this time, all Central Asian economies – to a more or lesser degree - are subject to COVID-19 containment measures and are experiencing pandemic-related repercussions for their economies. Governments and central banks are introducing stimuli (temporary relaxation of regulations, tax payment deferrals, credit lines, and similar) to buffer economic repercussions, and international financial institutions and other organizations are offering support on a massive scale. This includes EBRD which has designed a ‘comprehensive series of response and recovery measures’ (for details see https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/coronavirus).

 

In this new reality, local financial institutions face immense challenges as the economic downturn directly affects daily business levels, incomes of existing clients and, consequently, overall portfolios. Government measures to buffer effects – at least temporarily – additionally increase workloads at financial institutions as clients aim to take advantage of possibilities to change loan repayment plans, etc. Furthermore, at this time of ‘social distancing’, working from home and only having limited client contact creates additional challenges.

 

At the same time, financial institutions have a great responsibility in helping local economies to weather the crisis. It is financial institutions that provide the liquidity so urgently needed by many businesses and it is financial institutions, which can support businesses and other clients to get through the crisis. All of this requires flexibility and know how in how to work under crisis conditions.

 

Given its focus on providing distance-access to know how and training as well as its expertise in best practices in MSME finance, the EBRD RSBP is ready to provide needed know how to support financial institutions (and, indirectly, small businesses) to get through the crisis and build new business. 

 

In addition to expanding on available online courses and publications, we have started implementing ‘live’ webinars on topics of particular relevance in a crisis environment, such as how to analyze businesses operating in a crisis-environment and making well-founded decisions on ‘restructuring’ loans, etc., or how to manage teams working from different locations (see Schedule).

 

We plan to develop other forms of distance knowledge-sharing, skills development and training and will also add more topics of particular relevance at this time. Currently, we are preparing training for trainers on how to effectively use distance means for training staff at financial institutions as well as training on modelling and stress-testing for MFIs.

 

The EBRD RSBP - know how and skills for effectively weathering the effects of COVID-19!