March wage agreement, after sparks between the government and banks

The date of payment of wages is approaching and both banks and government officials face a great challenge due to a disagreement

The date of payment of wages is getting closer every day and the idea of ​​the Government to face such a challenge – that the banks lend the money to two thirds of the private sector – was on the verge of staggering due to a disagreement between the entities and the ruling party.

The talks held by the Minister of Productive Development, Matías Kulfas, had failed to unlock the resistance of the banks to lend their funds -the silver of their depositors- with the only sending via email (that is, without a folder, as is usually done) of form 931. That form is the affidavit to enter the contributions and contributions destined for the different subsystems of social security.

“The minister maintained a dialogue with the entities after the Central Bank enabled new instruments to unlock the situation. There is much discomfort for the position they adopted,” they told La Nación from the portfolio that Kulfas leads.

The government’s anger, according to sources at Casa Rosada, was mainly with ABA and Adeba, the two entities that bring together private banks in Argentina.

However, the matter was settled late at night and a possible agreement not yet sealed was reached. Contrary to the official vision, the banks said that they were good meetings and at the last hour of the day they were already working with an armed scheme with an amount to be financed of up to 100% of the gross salary mass of micro, small and medium-sized companies, of according to resolution 340/17 and its amendments, with employees declared in AFIP form 931.

The credit would be in twelve-month pesos with a three-month grace period and at a maximum interest rate of 24% fixed (annual nominal rate). They will have a guarantee from the Fogar. Direct accreditation in the account of company employees will be privileged.

The institution that Miguel Pesce conducts published Communication “A” 6946 last night, which sought to adjust “the incentives for financial institutions to enhance that line of credit,” according to the BCRA statement. Basically, it released funds that were in remuneration reserves so that private banks agreed to lend their funds at rates of 26% (24%, public ones). The measure, seen the results, was not enough in the morning for the banks.

The big fight was over the loan universe. The Government wanted the banks to take over, without guarantees, the payment of the wages of two thirds of the private economy (medium and large firms). For small and those SMEs with problems, Productive Development would enable a guarantee fund of up to $ 100 billion.

“The banks want the state to guarantee all loans,” complained to the government. Meanwhile, the idea of ​​the Ministry of Productive Development is that the company submit the form 931 by email and that the banks directly deposit the money in the CBU of the workers, the salary corresponding to the month of work. “They just want to lend to Coca-Cola. This is an extraordinary situation,” the officials criticized.

The payment of March wages with credit lines by some 320,000 million banks is one of the first measures that Kulfas, and the Minister of the Economy, Martín Guzmán, presented at the time seeking to mitigate the impacts of the expansion of the coronavirus and of the mandatory quarantine that paralyzed economic activity in the country.

Until today, despite the fact that some banks began today to announce that these loans will be granted, few institutions had operational lines. Today, for example, lines announced by Banco Galicia and Banco Provincia were known. In the banks they did not want to speak on the record, but from one entity they said: “The three chambers were working yesterday and today side by side with Kulfas and the SME secretary (Guillermo Merediz). All the banks are going to implement it, they are going to help Of course the strategy will depend on each of the institutions. But the commitment is in most of them. “

Both the credit lines and the guarantee fund are the emergency measures chosen by the Government for the payment of March wages. The third official leg, for April, would imply direct compensation from the State to the private sector.

The same will be the Productive Recovery Program (Repro), through which the Government would subsidize part of the wages of workers in companies in crisis as a consequence of the pandemic. “We are still working. We are going to have different alternatives linked to the size of the company, by number of employees, in the most affected sectors,” said Casa Rosada after the meeting of the economic cabinet on Wednesday.

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