Monetary authorities expect to approve the entry of another foreign bank before the end of the year, a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) official said.
Central bank Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said eight foreign banks — mostly from Asia — had expressed interest in setting up shop in the Philippines.
“Two of the eight are Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) banks,” Fonacier told reporters.
She said the Bangko Sentral was already processing the two banks’ applications.
“It’s happening already, actually. Sometimes there are just documents that you need to clarify,” she said, adding that one of the two applications will likely be approved this year.
“It’s a done deal. They presented their business model,” Fonacier said.
Asked for further details, Fonacier said the applicant was a listed Malaysian bank that wants to put up a branch here in the country.
Republic Act (RA) 10641, approved by Congress in July 2014, further liberalized the entry of foreign banks in line with Southeast Asia’s economic integration plans.
From 60 percent under RA 7721, the new law allowed foreign banks own up to 100 percent of an existing local bank or a new subsidiary, among others.
The Monetary Board has to date approved the local operations of 10 foreign banks, half of which are from Taiwan: Chang Hwa Bank Commercial Bank Ltd., Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Commercial Bank, First Commercial Bank, and Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd.
The others are South Korea’s Woori Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, and Shinhan Bank; Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd.; and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.