Bank regulators are urging financial institutions to work with borrowers in communities hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint statement released by federal and state regulators Monday evening, the group said that “financial institutions should work constructively with borrowers and other customers in affected communities.”
The regulators said "prudent efforts" to provide financial relief to stressed borrowers will not be subject to "criticism" from authorities.
In other words, regulators are giving the green light for banks to take a more lenient stance towards struggling businesses and households.
Of course, some banks will also be struggling during the coronavirus outbreak. Shares of major US banks including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase plunged more than 10% apiece Monday.
The agencies, which include the Federal Reserve, FDIC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also offered to provide "appropriate regulatory assistance" to banks. That includes granting requests in scheduling bank exams or inspections "to minimize disruption and burden."