MANILA—Officials of about eight foreign banks have indicated interest in setting up shop in the Philippines.
“There are definitely new players coming in. Some of those are directly linkable to ABIF (ASEAN Banking Integration Framework),” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. told journalists Wednesday.
Since Republic Act (RA) 10641, or the Act Liberalizing the Entry and Scope of Operations of Foreign Banks in the Philippines, was made into law in July 2014, numerous foreign banks have shown interest in the Philippines.
To date, the central bank’s policy-making Monetary Board (MB) has approved the local operations of nine foreign banks, including four Taiwanese banks, namely Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Commercial Bank, First Commercial Bank, and Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd.
The others are South Korea’s Woori Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Shinhan Bank; Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd.; and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.
Monetary officials said most of these foreign financial operations are based in Asia as the 10 member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) starts its regional economic integration.