23 January 2009

Chile’s Andres Velasco Urges Banks to Open Up Access to Credit

By Nathan Gill
     Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Chile’s Finance Minister Andres Velasco comments on the availability of credit. Velasco spoke to reporters today after a meeting with members of the Association of Banks and Financial Institutions.

On banks:
     “Everyone should use every available tool to alleviate the effects of the international crisis on our economy. Fiscal policy is doing this, acting in a very active manner, monetary policy is also doing this, and it is crucial that the behavior of credit and the financial sector do their part to ease these affects. The financial sector should play a role that relieves, not multiplies these external shocks.”

On the bond market:
     “Chile has something that few emerging economies have, a bond market in which companies can get financing.”

On credit:
     “It’s very clear that demand is not an abstract concept, people’s demand depends on the conditions they are offered. It’s very important that the conditions, in the real estate sector for example, are such that they help families. Everybody, including the financial sector, has the responsibility to create circumstances such that there is demand and families can make purchases.”