Another Asian bank likely to enter PH
An Asian bank is currently being evaluated by monetary authorities before it possibly starts operations in the country, a ranking Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) official said Monday.
BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. declined to disclose the details to reporters but once approved, this would be the sixth Asian bank to set up shop here after the government last year allowed the full entry of foreign banks.
Last week, Espenilla announced the entry of Taiwanese lender Yuanta Commercial Bank Co. Ltd., which had acquired Tongyang Savings Bank Inc. (Philippines) to enter the domestic market.
The BSP earlier gave its go-ahead to four other Asian banks to operate in the country: Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. of Japan; South Korea’s Shinhan Bank, as well as Industrial Bank of Korea; and Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank.
Espenilla noted that there was more interest among Asia-based banks in locating in the Philippines, as the region as a whole was a “fast-growing part of the global economy.”
The BSP official added that economic integration and more robust trade among Asean countries were appealing to Asian lenders.
As for banks from outside of Asia, Espenilla said he deemed that “they’re not yet moving now, but clearly looking into” possible Philippine operations in the future.
According to Espenilla, there is still more room for increased foreign participation in the banking system, as foreign banks account for only less than 11 percent of the industry’s total assets.
Foreign lenders can compose a maximum of 40 percent of the banking industry’s assets under the new law.
The entry of more foreign banks is expected to boost employment generation in the sector, according to Espenilla.
“We’re seeing a lot of demand for Philippine talent to be part of these new enterprises,” Espenilla told a conference of bank employees’ trade unions.
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