Republic Bank managing director Nigel Baptiste says the Finance Committee announced by the Prime Minister has met and had healthy discussions.

Speaking on a CNC3 special program hosted by Hema Ramkissoon, which addressed the issue of the impact of coronavirus on the economy, Baptiste said the banks have all committed to doing what they can to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago survives this tragedy.

Baptiste said, “we share a collective responsibility.”

Citizens, he said, have to protect themselves as individuals, businesses have to protect employees and the government had to protect citizens.

He urged citizens to look at expenditure patterns as individuals.

We all “need to stay close to one another” he said, “to understand what the needs of each other, we all have to find ways to support the communities we survive in.”

Baptiste said there are a number of measures banks have indicated to the Finance Committee that they are prepared to do. While he would not reveal those on behalf of all banks, Baptiste said Republic Bank was prepared to reduce its prime lending rate.

In addition, he said Republic was looking at seeing what “kind of loan payment” can be made to assist companies in the cash flow of their companies as they navigate this period.

There is the possibility he said of a moratorium of three to six months.

Yesterday the Central Bank announced a reduction in the repo rate and the reserve requirement.

Baptiste said the announcement was in keeping with discussions with the Finance Committee.