Philippine banks 'business as usual' as nation battles COVID-19


Posted at Mar 16 2020 09:50 AM | Updated as of Mar 16 2020 10:34 AM

MANILA -- (UPDATE) Philippine banks said Monday operations were "business as usual" with Metro Manila under community quarantine and as the nation fights the coronavirus pandemic.

The Philippines largest lender, BDO Unibank, along with RCBC and Unionbank gave the assurances in separate disclosures to the stock exchange Monday, the first working day under the 1-month long community quarantine that will end on April 14.

Sy-led BDO said it activated its business continuity plan to provide "uninterrupted service" in 1,400 branches, 4,400 ATMs and digital channels.

The bank has back-up sites for functions such as client services, trading and treasury, and operations and information technology, BDO told the stock exchange.

Key personnel were identified to ensure operations in the event of a "severe business disruption," BDO said.

The pandemic's impact on BDO's business has been "limited" so far and loan and deposit growth remain "normal," it said.

RCBC said it was undergoing a "stress test exercise to assess current crisis impact to its whole portfolio."

Unionbank told the exchange that its shift to digital channels would help it ride out the impact of the virus.