Allow hassle-free bank account opening for small depositors, BSP urges

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has ordered local banks to allow small Filipino depositors open their basic bank accounts without requiring extensive documentary requirements and minimum deposit maintaining balance.

According to BSP, this move will help in improving financial inclusion of the country’s unbanked population. Currently, there are only 31.3 percent of Filipinos who have accounts with financial institutions.

“Ownership of an account provides Filipinos the tool to save and transact money in a safe, convenient and affordable manner,” the central bank said. “It can unlock access to a wider range of financial services to meet their various needs, including credit, insurance and investments.”

The BSP also bared the usual hindrances for Filipinos to open their own bank accounts which include costs, lack of money, and lack of documentary requirements, among others.

To address the said barriers, the central bank has set minimum key features of a basic account inlducing simplified know-your-customer (KYC) requirements; an opening amount of less than P100; no minimum maintaining balance; and no dormancy charges. A maximum balance of PhP 50,000 is also set to prevent misuse of basic deposit account.

The basic deposit account supports the boost of the adoption of cashless digital payments in the country through the National Retail Payments System (NRPS).