The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) confirmed on Tuesday that nine foreign banks have already entered the Philippines. It added that six foreign banks have expressed interests to enter the country. The central bank also added that it was eyeing on forging deals with Indonesian and Thai counterparts the entry of more foreign lenders prior to the Southeast Asia’s banking integration in 2020.

Six Banks Eyeing Philippines

“We are happy to report that nine banks have entered the Philippine banking industry thus far, with six more banks expressing interest,” The Philippine Star reported BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., as saying. Tetangco said that more foreign banks have expressed their interests to enter the country since former president Benigno Aquino III signed Republic Act 10641 of 2014.

This amended the law by removing the limit of foreign banks in the country. Prior to the amendment, only 10 foreign banks were allowed to operate in the country.

Tetangco confirmed the following nine banks already operating in the Philippines:

  • Sumitomo Mitsui of Japan
  • Shinhan Bank of South Korea
  • Cathay United Bank of Taiwan
  • Industrial Bank of Korea
  • Yuanta Bank of Taiwan
  • United Overseas Bank Ltd. of Singapore
  • Seoul-based Woori Bank
  • Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd. of Taiwan
  • First Commercial Bank of Taiwan

Deals with foreign central banks

BSP also said that it is working on forging deals with Bank of Thailand and Indonesia’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan. Tetangco said that talks with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) banks have started in earnest.

“The discussions with Indonesia and Thailand are at that very early stage. But having gone through this before with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), I would expect to see something within the first half of 2017,” Business World reported Tetangco, as saying.

Strong and thriving

Tetangco said that the banking industry in the country remained strong and thriving. “And more than these, our stress tests indicated that our banks can withstand extreme shocks in both credit and market risks,” Tetangco said.

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