Bangko Sentral to stop accepting digital bank license applications by Aug. 31

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2021 03:47 PM | Updated as of Aug 19 2021 05:06 PM

MANILA - The monetary board will stop accepting applications for digital banks by Aug. 31, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday. 

The decision includes digital bank applications as well as the conversion of banks "in line with the overall thrust of maintaining a stable and competitive environment for banks," the BSP said in a statement. 

“The closure of the application window will allow the BSP to monitor the performance and impact of digital banks on the banking system and their contribution to the financial inclusion agenda,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno. 

“We need to ensure that the business environment continues to allow healthy competition among banks enabling them to offer innovative and competitive financial products and services to their clients,” the Governor added.

Applications received by Aug. 31 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and will be assessed based on the licensing criteria for the establishments of digital banks, the BSP said.

The BSP earlier established a framework for digital banking which allowed branchless or purely digital banks to operate in the country.

Complete submissions before the deadline will be processed while those with documentary deficiencies or do not meet the pre-qualification will be returned and will not be subject to further processing, it said.

"After 31 August 2021, the BSP will no longer entertain nor accept new or returned applications," it said.

So far, the BSP has approved the application of 5 digital banks namely OF Bank, Tonik Bank, UNObank, UnionDigital Bank and GoTyme.

With financial innovations such as digital banks, the BSP said it is confident it could achieve its digitalization goals which include digitizing 50 percent of transactions and encouraging 70 percent of the population to open bank accounts by 2023.

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