Philippine banks to ensure cash supply in ATMs, branches during lockdown: BPI

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2020 05:32 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2020 09:59 PM

MANILA -- Bank of the Philippine Islands is moving physical cash to branches and ATMs as quickly as possible, as the COVID-19 lockdown in Luzon drives demand, its president said Thursday.

The public should not worry about banks and ATMs running out of cash, or of the COVID-19 quarantine triggering a bank run, BPI president and CEO Cezar Consing said.

"We are loading as quickly as we can. The BSP is trying to supply the commercial banks as quickly as it can," Consing told ANC.

"Banks are in great shape," he said. "The real issue is the physical cash. We just have to make sure that we get physical cash to the branches and to the ATMs." 

People are withdrawing cash and keeping them in their households thus reducing the amount of cash in circulation, he said. The closure of businesses because of the lockdown also means that "the cash cycle has changed."

Commercial banks can withstand the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on businesses as bank capital ratios in the Philippines are so high, Consing said.

"The BSP has properly prepared banks for crises like these," he said.