THE House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries on Tuesday called on the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to encourage banks to ease their requirements for opening accounts in order to include more rural residents and low-income people in the formal economy.
The committee’s vice chair and Navotas City Rep. John Reynald M. Tiangco said many agriculture sector workers and low-salary employes cannot as yet qualify for banking services.
“Hindi naman po magpapahiram kung walang record po, so kailangan i-ease po natin yung customer-base natin, hindi lang sa agri-sector, kundi pati rin sa mga may low salary. Marami kasing hindi nagbabangko (Banks cannot lend to those with no records, so the requirements for availing of banking services need to be eased, not just for the agriculture sector, but also for low-income workers, many of which are unbanked)” he said.
BSP Deputy Director Charina De Vera-Yap said the banking regulator has addressed the issue by encouraging banks to offer deposit accounts with low balance requirements.
“For access to deposit accounts, we issued a deposit account circular which encourages depositors to have (accounts) even with small amounts,” she said.
“We also encourage banks to be able to open branch-lite outlets… so they can expand to areas that are underserved and unserved.”
The BSP’s presentation also cited the upcoming National ID system which can serve as the one identity document for opening accounts.
The BSP also allows institutions to implement reduced Know-Your-Customer rules for certain low-risk customers and to use technology in lieu of face-to-face contact. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras