How BSP is preparing for ASEAN integration

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at May 20 2014 09:04 AM | Updated as of May 20 2014 05:04 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has opened up talks with banking organizations in the country in preparation for the planned ASEAN integration next year.

"They should provide further clarity and level expectations among their member banks and give them the chance to tap their respective forward-looking competition strategies," BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said at the Financial Times-First Metro Investment Summit on Monday.

Tetangco said the BSP has prepared the groundwork for the banking integration by creating "a stable macroeconomic environment and putting in place a sound regulatory framework consistent with the global reform agenda."

He added that amendments to Republic Act 7721, an act liberalizing the entry and scope of operations of foreign banks in the Philippines, have been proposed.

"This will open up the window again for the entry of foreign banks to establish their own branches and subsidiaries here in the Philippines," he said.

Tetangco noted that as a response, some Philippine banks have already expanded their branch networks especially in underserved markets.

Tetangco said that while the BSP supports the integration, it is also aware of the challenges that come with it.

"We support the underlying principles of readiness and reciprocity espoused under the ASEAN banking integration framework but there is a need to ensure that the implementation of the principles is fair and balanced," he said.