Aquino signs law letting foreign banks in


Maybank, Malaysia’s biggest bank, is one of several foreign banks operating in the Philippines. President Aquino has signed into law a bill allowing the “full entry of foreign banks into the Philippines” in preparation for next year’s Asean regional economic integration. PHOTO FROM

MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino has signed into law a bill allowing the “full entry of foreign banks into the Philippines” in preparation for next year’s Asean regional economic integration.

Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Sunday announced the signing of Republic Act No. 10641 and that of four other new legislative measures.

To allow the full entry of foreign banks, the new law amended Republic Act No. 7721, or “An Act Liberalizing the Entry and Scope of Operations of Foreign Banks in the Philippines.”

Under the old law, foreign banks could operate within the Philippine banking system only by acquiring, purchasing or owning up to 60 percent of the voting stock of an existing bank.

They could also do so “by investing in up to 60 percent of the voting stock of a new banking subsidiary incorporated under the laws of the Philippines” or “by establishing branches with full banking authority.”

Coloma said the new law, RA 10641, was “the product of careful study.”

“Let’s think about the reality that we’re moving toward an Asean integration, and that includes the aspect of financial integration,” he said in Filipino over Radyo ng Bayan.

“There are a lot of [businessmen] who want to invest here in our country,” Coloma said, adding that they asked if the banks that they had been using in their businesses could be allowed to open here.”

Under the Asean Economic Community, member countries will have “a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development and a region fully integrated into the global economy.”

Besides RA 10641, Aquino also signed a new law that would further strengthen the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and another one seeking to strengthen protection for consumers buying brand-new motor vehicles.

The President also signed “An Act to Effectively Instill Health Consciousness through Graphic Health Warnings on Tobacco Products” and “An Act Promoting Job Generation and Inclusive Growth through the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.”

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  • Eiggennasch

    One time I applied for a housing loan to pay for my condo unit . I tried BDO and BPI and I was turned down for the sole reason that according to them, they found out that my wife has an outstanding debt to a credit card company. I acquired the unit since I was single, I work abroad, I earn a substantial amount and I never fail paying my monthly amortization. These local banks are so unreasonable and over protective. They suck to the Nth power!

  • Crysis_III

    Our online banking sucks.. It is still not at par with the US banks. Hopefully it will change..

  • R_RR

    I am very pleased with this development. I wish to see BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Sumitomo, UBS, DBS, Rabobank and the like.

  • panugda7

    Wish Big US banks will open shop here so our SSS pensions and online payments will be taken care of good while we are here in Ph..It is comforting that we walk inside the bank we are familiar with.

  • limcat

    competition is good for us consumers .. better product, better service and hopefully better rates =)

  • A_few_good_men

    For this act of government, I’ll agree and congratulate them for a job well done. Opening the banking system to 100% foreign competition is a good move. Now start allowing 100% foreign ownership of companies in the Phils. The Filipino (by convenience) businessman who controls most of the businesses in our country will try their best to stifle foreign competition to the detriment of the economy, the consumers and the working masses.

  • staad

    hope the eu banks come in. hate all those chinese commie banks coming in, its a big mafia.

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    This is good. I am tired of the retrogressive, repressive, unsecure, and arrogant Philippine banks.

    The other day I asked BDO about my International Bank Account Number or IBAN, the account number used for international transactions without the need to give details about your name or any information, and they told me that they don’t offer it. What a joke! What they said was “you still need to fill in your name, your account number, your bank branch, your bank’s swift code, etc, etc”. If I had an IBAN, all I ever need to give to transfer money is my IBAN. That’s it.

    Philippine banks suck. I want an international bank that could receive my money right now. Once these banks set up shop in Philippine soil, I will immediately pull out all of my money. I hope these foreign banks gobble up these stupid local banks.

    • Mark Suarez

      IBAN is not used by the Philippine Banks.. Our Philippine Banks are using SWIFT code. IBAN is used by European and Mideast Banks.

      • Observer_din

        No need to explain to him. Whatever you say he will complain. xD

      • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

        Now I want to complain because you told someone I complained too much.

      • Observer_din

        that made my day. :)

    • my_name

      BPI and BDO su ck big time.

      ang kukupad at mukhang pera lang!

    • Observer_din

      Why didnt you go to CITI , HSBC STANDARD or any foreign banks? xD

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