New BAP leadership pushes reforms to hasten PH economic recovery | Inquirer Business

New BAP leadership pushes reforms to hasten PH economic recovery

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 04:32 PM March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) will push for key reforms to strengthen the financial system and hasten the economy’s recovery from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso, newly-elected BAP president, made the statement as he also committed the umbrella organization of the country’s largest financial institutions to supporting initiatives to make banking services more accessible and affordable for more Filipinos.


Veloso, who is also president and CEO of the Philippine National Bank, is the first head of the BAP to have been elected by a popular vote since the group was established in 1949 rather than being selected by a council of former presidents.

“I look forward to collaborating with the government to support their efforts and look for ways to speed up the recovery of the economy,” he said. “We will work with the government, its lawmakers and our regulators especially in building, enhancing or amending banking laws and regulations to help promote economic activity safely.”


Other new officers who were also elected during the group’s general assembly last Monday (March 15) were:

  • Cecilia Borromeo, Land Bank of the Philippines president and CEO, as first vice president
  • Hans Sicat, ING Bank’s country manager, as second vice president
  • Edwin Bautista, UnionBank president and CEO, as treasurer
  • Sanjiv Vohra, Security Bank president and CEO, as secretary

New members of the board of directors included representatives from:

  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Commerce
  • BDO Unibank
  • China Banking Corporation
  • Development Bank of the Philippines
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
  • ING BankJP Morgan Chase Bank
  • Land Bank of the Philippines
  • Metrobank
  • Mizuho Bank Ltd. Manila Branch
  • Philippine National Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Security Bank
  • Union Bank

Benjamin Castillo, BAP managing director, said 2020 “was a year navigating through uncharted territory.”

“The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything we have faced before. It is during these times that we have further demonstrated BAP’s unparalleled support to the banking industry and its members,” Castillo said. “This will remain a reality for a long time.”

The group said it has so far helped in the development of key legislation to guide the Philippine economy into recovery. The association worked with Congress on formulating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan I), Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II) and the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act.

“We were pleased to see our inputs incorporated in the Bayanihan I and II, FIST, and AMLA bills which were signed into law, and the Agri-Agra, GUIDE, PDIC Charter Change, and Bank Secrecy bills which now await further deliberation in Congress,” outgoing BAP president Cezar Consing said.

The BAP also provided strategic inputs to and collaborated with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on regulations that will have a significant impact on the industry, like the proposed creation of the Open Finance Framework as well as the creation of a separate license for digital banks.

The BAP consists of forty-five member banks, twenty-one of which are local banks and twenty-four are foreign bank branches.

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TAGS: Banking, BAP, Business, economy, pandemic, reforms
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