MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) Allows Micro-Banking Offices (MBOs) to Approve New Deposit Accounts

Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, recently authorized micro-banking offices (MBOs) of financial institutions to extend the range of “allowable activities” [1] with the aim of increasing financial inclusion in the rural parts of the country. MBOs are specialized offices of financial services providers that offer a limited set of services [1].

BSP’s measure allows MBOs “to complete the process of account opening from application up to the acceptance of initial deposit provided that the necessary controls are in place” [1]. Prior to the expansion of their approved activities, MBOs were only authorized to conduct customer identification and account activation, while the approval of the account had to be completed at a full-scale branch of the organization.

As of June 2015, 531 MBOs are present in 337 municipalities of the Philippines. In 64 of the 337 municipalities, financial services are available only via MBOs. As of the same date, MBOs have 2.3 million micro-deposit accounts totaling PHP 4.6 billion (USD 96.4 million).  As of December 2014, BSP reported total assets of PHP 4.1 trillion (USD 86 billion), return on assets (ROA) -0.2 percent, and return on equity (ROE) -22.8 percent.

By Kevin van den Brink, Research Associate

About Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) (Updated Wiki)

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the central bank of the Republic of the Philippines. Established under the provisions of the New Central Bank Act of 1993, BSP is headquartered in Manila and has three regional offices and eighteen branch offices. In addition to traditional central banking activities, BSP participates in advocacy programs concerning microfinance, financial education and consumer protection. As of December 2014, BSP reported total assets of PHP 4.1 trillion (USD 86 billion), return on assets (ROA) -0.2 percent, and return on equity (ROE) -22.8 percent.

Sources and Additional Resources

[1] Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, News, BSP further liberalizes regulation on micro-banking offices 

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