3 of 10 Filipinos have bank accounts | Inquirer Business

3 of 10 Filipinos have bank accounts

MANILA, Philippines–The number of Filipinos with access to formal financial services increased in the last three years as consumers became more educated and more careful with their cash, although significant challenges remained, a new report showed.

A World Bank report showed three in 10 Filipinos now had bank accounts. The most headway was made in the poorest segment of the population, the report noted.

However, the level of financial access in the Philippines still resembled that in low-income countries. And even as formal services improved since the start of the decade, informal lending through loan sharks or borrowing from family members remained rampant.


“Informal lending is still the most common practice in the country,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.


At the end of 2014, 31.3 percent of adult Filipinos had bank accounts, up from 26.6 percent in 2011. These accounts range from savings accounts with banks, or mobile money accounts with local telecom companies.

Among the poorest 40 percent of Filipino adults, those who owned formal accounts increased by 7.1 percentage points to 17.8 percent in 2014 from 10.7 percent in 2011. Account ownership in the richest 60 percent rose by only 3.4 percentage points to 40.6 percent.

Informal finance was still the most popular among Filipinos. The percentage of those who borrowed from family and friends in the past 12 months rose to 48.7 percent in 2014 from 39 percent in 2011.

The Philippines is also one of the countries in the world where more than 10 percent of adults borrow money from private informal lenders. In 2014, 13.5 percent of Filipino adults reported tapping informal lender for credit, up slightly from 12.7 percent in 2011.

In comparison with other Southeast Asian countries, the level of financial inclusion in the Philippines as measured by the percentage of adults with accounts is lower than Malaysia (81 percent), Thailand (78 percent) and Indonesia (36 percent) but higher than Vietnam (31 percent), Myanmar (23 percent) and Cambodia (22 percent).

Globally, the percentage of account holders is 62 percent with variation among high income (91 percent), middle income (58 percent) and low income (28 percent) countries.

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TAGS: bank accounts, Finance

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