Most Filipinos have no bank accounts—BSP survey


A bank teller prepares stacks of P500 denomination for the bank’s automated cash dispenser in this file photo. About 8 of 10 heads of Filipino households do not have any bank accounts because they do not have enough money to deposit, according to a survey by the Philippine central bank. AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

About 8 of 10 heads of Filipino households do not have any bank accounts, and most do not have enough cash saved up for emergencies.

These are some of the highlights of the first Consumer Finance Survey (CFS) conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Monetary officials said the results of the survey underscored the pressing need for the banking sector to reach out to more Filipino consumers and teach them the value of saving.

Based on the survey, most respondents who said their families did not have any savings accounts also saw no need to apply for any type of bank account because they would not have enough money to deposit. Other reasons cited were the high amount of minimum deposit balance required by banks and the aversion of most respondents in dealing with banks.

According to survey, about 4 of 10 households do not have any cash on hand to be used in case of emergency, while 6 of 10 households have very little cash to spare. Average cash on hand of Filipino families that may be used for emergencies stand at only P1,681.

These results may be traced partly to insufficiency of income. Also, lack of access to banks and the high tendency of Filipinos to spend—rather than save or invest—greatly influenced the results of the survey, the central bank said.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said in a press conference Wednesday that the survey revealed the need for greater effort “towards a more inclusive financial system,” where more people would have access to bank products and services, such as deposits and loans.

Such an effort is necessary, Tetangco said, if the government hopes to reduce poverty incidence.

He pointed out that the public’s savings are what the banking sector uses to extend loans to fund job-generating investments. Moreover, loans granted to microenterprises serve to lift the income of most poor people.

Tetangco said results of the survey also raised the need for tighter monitoring of financial transactions of consumers outside the formal banking sector.

The survey showed that some Filipinos are inclined to deal with informal moneylenders, which may include loan sharks, to finance their needs. One of 10 respondents said they have dealt with moneylenders.

“There is a need to look into shadow banking transactions,” Tetangco said.

BSP Assistant Governor Ma. Cyd Tuaño-Amador said that currently, the government has no sufficient resources to regulate individual moneylenders. She said, however, that what the BSP can do at the moment is to strengthen its financial literacy campaign by making people aware of the risks in dealing with informal lenders.

“Education of the public may help a lot in consumer protection,” Amador said.

Another interesting result of the survey is that 2 of 10 Filipino households depend solely or partly on remittances to support their expenditure requirements, indicating the importance of overseas Filipino workers in financially supporting households in the Philippines.

Moreover, 7 of 10 Filipino households are not risk takers, prefering to rely on fixed income rather than invest in businesses.

The survey, which took a few years to complete, covered 10,520 households nationwide. Data was collected from November 2009 to January 2010.

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  • Marcipious Slah

    eh paano magtitiwala sa banks eh mag open lang ng account almost 5k kagad ang initial deposit. tapos magkano ang interest? swerte mo pa kung ang bank na pagiipunan mo eh wag ma-hold-up or worse magsara then goodbye to your savings.


     sad truth, it’s about time this was addressed. very useful reporting, i hope to see more of such articles in future. why isn’t this in yahoo news? this ought to reach a wider audience.  i hope the government can address this issue, not just “strengthen its financial literacy campaign by making people aware of the risks in dealing with informal lenders.” risk awareness is such a short stick to stir this whole pot with! Financial literacy campaign can be the answer if fleshed out fully. Enable more Filipinos to invest! Investing is the way to financial independence.

    no capital? use your innate Filipino sense for social networking, find a way to trade. be a middleman. pay your debt, hold on to your profit. most importantly do not spend it all! continue to trade until you’re confident enough with your customer base to establish your own store/business (remember, having a store means more overhead expense).

    But it would be nice also to shrink the gap between have muchs and have nots. :)

  • Ralph L

    Bank account wala, pero pambili ng I-phone i-pad meron.
    Daming nirereklamo sa banco di naman marunong mag-ipon!!

  • Tang Ina

    Tys on MetroBank,Sys on BDO,Ayalas on BPIs-PsBanks(CBCP is one of their biggest shareholdres),SecBank is also run by Chinese,ChinaBankingCorp,PNB and Allied Bank is Lucio Tans’s own Bank, Gokongwei on Rob banks and so on…Monetary Board is run by Private Corp. or Individuals.Who are these people?They are the exact image of Insects that Sucks the Blood from the Scar of Filipino people.Their favorite song is “We Run the Money!”composed by the Great Robber Barrons in Phl Archipelago.

  • Tang Ina

    Bank Establishments are legally designed to ‘Steal and Rob’ people’s Money.Beat the Banks!Good that 80% Filipinos never trust them,make it 100%.Put up a Vault inside your homes.They give you 1-4% interest on savings and lend to borrowers 12-20+% interest on loans and charge fees the people on bank processing  from teller tobranch Manager all the way to BSP Governor.Grand Scam!

  • Mario_Garcia

    Government should take over Banks, Electricity and Mass transportation system and make money from it.  We’d rather that our government make more money because it returns to us in  the form of benefits and you’ll never know every citizen might receive their dividend when there is a big surplus.  Like in Hongkong, giving back HK$6,000.00 to every citizen last year.

  • Mario_Garcia

    One has to show the bank not one but two or maybe three or four valid identity cards which most ordinary people does not have.  Maybe it’s time to be like the other successful countries to have a single and very valid identity card that would really identify the person without a single doubt so that not only bank transactions will be easier to be done and saves time and space too.  Imagine carrying with you a series of ids just to make transactions.

    The bank fees on falling below ADB is also a deterrent, most people can not afford it. Might as well spent the  money rather than saving it just to make 0.5% interest per annum and slapped with penalties of 200 to 350.  

    Better let the rich enjoy banking…

  • joboni96

    1% per annum sa deposito mo
    pambibili ng government bonds
    na kikita ng 7% per annum
    tubo lugaw

    kapital ng pilipino
    gobyerno ng pilipino
    intsik kastinoy dayuhan
    ang nakinabang

    magbabangko ka pa

    mag retail selling na kayo
    sa aming mga maliliit
    ng government bonds

    ng hindi lang ang mga
    intsik kastinoy dayuhan
    ang nakikinabang

    • Mario_Garcia

      Banks should be nationalized so that many will benefit from banking and not just the greedy Chinese and Hispanics.  There is no real Filipino bank except for government banks, the rest are owned by foreigners. Imagine 0.5% to 1% cost of money to make income of 7,8 to as much as 30%.  Avery thick spread indeed, this is really usurious.  

  • xkalibur69

    di na ako nagtaka sa survey,,dahil mas mdami nman mahirap sa bansa ntin,,kami nga mga ofw kya nga lang may bank act ay dahil alng kailangan sa pag remit sahod o monthly remittance, at halos nauubos din konting padala dahil sa mahal ng lahat ng bilihin sa pinas, eh lalo na kya yon mas marami sa atin na minimum wage earners, eh wla na talaga sila mai save sa banko,,,

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