Banks are now allowed to change or extend their operating hours without prior approval from the central bank as part of efforts to further empower financial consumers and foster a more stable financial system in the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that its policy making body, the Monetary Board, has liberalized the rules for setting or extending banking hours.
The new rules will allow banks to enhance their operational flexibility and increase their productivity as well as extend services to their customers, it said.
Under the new framework, banks that intend to change or lengthen the schedule of their operations need only send a prior written notice to the appropriate supervisory department of the BSP.
The central bank said that the framework allows the rendering of full banking services during the extended period.
Apart from their core services of deposit-taking and withdrawals-servicing, banks may now also conduct check processing, bank certification, payment order, check reorder, bills and loan payments and other ancillary services throughout the business day.
The BSP said that along with the liberalization of banking hours, the framework also requires banks to comply with minimum security measures, including the posting of guards and the placement of security devices.
Clients must also be informed about the adjusted banking hours by posting the new schedule conspicuously at the banks’ premises.
“The new framework recognizes the evolving needs of financial consumers, especially those who require banking services beyond current regular business hours. This is firmly in the line with the BSP’s thrust of empowering financial consumers, which is essential to fostering the stability of the financial system,” the central bank stated.
At present, banks are required to open for business for a minimum of six hours a day from Monday to Friday except during holidays. This is distinct from their e-banking and automated teller machine operations, the BSP said.
Under the previous rules, BSP approval was required for lengthening or modifying the schedule of banking hours; for providing services other than banks’ core functions during extended business hours; and for starting banking hours before 8 a.m. or extending said hours beyond 8 p.m.