MANILA - The number of Filipino households without bank accounts has risen, data from the central bank released Friday showed, highlighting the challenges of weaning the public away from shadow lenders.
Eighty-six percent of households don’t keep money in banks, according to the 2014 Consumer Finance Survey, up from 78.5 percent in 2009. The study is conducted every four years.
President Rodrigo Duterte has talked tough against so-called “five-six” lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates and his justice secretary said this week that these loan sharks faced possible arrest.
Owning a bank account is a minimum requirement for access to formal credit lines that comply with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas regulations.
Surrendering ATM cards or “sangla ATM” is the most popular collateral for loans, used by 39.9 percent of borrowers, followed by land (22.5 percent), appliances (11.7 percent), vehicles (7.7 percent) and harvest (6.0 percent), according to the survey.
“Not having enough money” was the top reason for not keeping a bank account, cited by 92.3 percent in the 2014 survey, from 92.8 percent in 2009, data showed.
Other reasons cited include seeing no need for a bank account, living far from a bank, being unable to manage an account, and refusal to pay transaction charges.
In Metro Manila, 81.3 percent of households don’t own bank accounts, while the proportion is larger in the provinces at 86.7 percent.
Consumer loans are the most common for Filipino households, with 15.2 percent having outstanding all-purpose loans, 11.9 percent with motor vehicle loans and 1.5 percent with credit card debt, the central bank said.
Only 2.7 percent had loans to pay on their residence while 6.5 percent had loans tied to other real property.
Majority of households, 51.7 percent, acquired their homes through cash, while 42.6 percent got theirs through inheritance or gifts. Only 5.2 borrowed money to buy a house.
The 2014 CFS covered 18,000 households nationwide, excluding Leyte, which was hit by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in 2013.
Other highlights of the study include:
- The country's labor force will increase significantly in the next 10 years, with 20.2 percent of the population within the 15 to 24 age range.
- Houses and home appliances are the most common asset types.
- Three in four households own or co-won their houses or houses and lots.
- State-run Pag-Ibig Fund is the primary source of housing loans, followed by banks and money lenders.
- Nearly six in 10 households pay housing loans on time or ahead of schedule.
- More than a quarter of households own at least one motor vehicle.
- Eight in 10 deposits are placed in commercial banks while seven in deposits pay interest.