6 add’l Asian banks indicate interest to operate in PHL – Tetangco

MANILA (PNA) - - Six more foreign banks have indicated interest to open offices in the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said.

Tetangco disclosed this in his speech during the Bankers' Night Tuesday, which the central bank holds annually for stakeholders at the start of the year.

As of end-2016, the central bank's policy-making Monetary Board (MB) approved the domestic operations of nine foreign banks based in Asia.

These include Japanese lender Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., South Korean Shinhan Bank, Taiwan's Cathay United Bank, government-owned Industrial Bank of Korea, Yuanta Bank of Taiwan, and Singapore's Overseas Bank Ltd (UOB).

Foreign bank operations in the domestic economy has been fully liberalized following the approval of Republic Act (RA) 10641 or the Act Liberalizing the Entry and Scope of Operations of Foreign Banks in the Philippines in July 2014.

Before the signing of the said law foreign financial institutions can only own up to 60 percent in a domestic bank.

The said law was approved as the country's contribution to the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which started in December 2015.

BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said the six foreign banks have not submitted applications to operate in the Philippines but have indicated their intention and are now in the process of completing the requirements.

He added that most of them were from the ASEAN but one was non-Asean.

He, however, declined to identify the banks, citing that the foreign financial institutions have not submitted yet the necessary papers.

Source: Philippines News Agency