• Banks set limited services for APEC

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    Consumers will have to deal with two days of minimal banking services later this week as Metro Manila hosts the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit.

    Commercial banks will be closing branches in the National Capital Region (NCR) on Wednesday (November 18) and Thursday (November 19) but automated teller machine (ATM), online and phone banking services will remain available.

    Check transactions will also be disrupted with the closure of the Philippine Payments and Settlements System and Philippine Clearing House Corp. during those two dates.

    Clients will still be able to withdraw, deposit, transfer and check their balances using their banks’ electronic banking and ATM systems.

    Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) said the NCR closures would also include BPI Family Savings Bank. “Our NCR branches will be open to serve the public as usual on Friday, November 20,” it added.

    EastWest Bank said selected Metro Manila branches would remain open on November 18 and 19, while all branches located outside of the capital will not be affected.

    “EastWest’s over 500 ATMs will be operational round-the-clock. Customers may check balances, pay bills, and transfer funds 24/7 through EastWest’s online banking facility,” the bank said.

    EastWest added that it would also temporarily postpone its foreign exchange and bond/government securities trading and resume these after the APEC meetings.

    Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) said selected Metro Manila branches would also be open on November 18 to 19.

    Check clearing will be suspended on Wednesday to Thursday, with checks deposited on these dates to be processed for clearing and for value on November 20.

    “Thus, these checks will be cleared on November 24, 2015,” the bank said.

    The Metrobank Group’s thrift bank arm, Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), said all Metro Manila branches would be closed on November 18 and 19 while its provincial branches will be open.

    For its payroll facility, PSBank said payroll crediting scheduled for November 18 and 19 will proceed.

    Accounts under its Automatic Debit Agreement with due dates on the said holidays, meanwhile, will be debited on November 20.

    “Payments will be valued on its original due date. No penalties will be charged,” it said.

    For checks, processing will resume on November 20.

    “No penalties will be charged for checks, dated November 18 and 19, intended for PSBank loan payments,” it noted.

    HSBC and HSBC Savings Bank also said branches in the NCR would be closed on November 18 to 19.

    Cash and check payments received through Easy Pay Machines during those two dates will be processed on November 20, it added.

    HSBC said its Cebu and Davao branches would be open with limited banking services during the entire week of the APEC.

    “We encourage you to perform your banking transactions beforehand to avoid any inconvenience,” the bank advised its customers.

    Banco de Oro (BDO) also said selected NCR branches would be ready to serve customers, but with shortened banking hours, on November 18 and 19.

    Lastly, Philippine National Bank (PNB) said several Metro Manila branches would be kept open during the two dates, but advised customers to make their transactions earlier in the week to avoid inconveniences.

    MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO

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