Most Filipinos have no savings - study

By Jekki Pascual, ANC

Posted at Aug 20 2015 12:19 PM | Updated as of Aug 20 2015 08:26 PM

MANILA - Most Filipinos live from paycheck to paycheck, and when tragedy strikes like an illness or an accident, they have no funds to fall back on.

The National Baseline Survey on Financial Inclusion by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed that only 4 out of 10 Filipinos have savings.

Out of those 4, only 32 percent put their savings in banks.

The survey added that almost all Filipinos are aware of banks, but only 5 out of 10 adults have actually done any banking transaction.

The BSP said the country suffers from low financial literacy mainly because most Filipinos do not have money to save, and do not fully understand the banking sector.

To attract more Filipinos to do banking transactions and to get them to save, the BSP is now shifting from English to Filipino.

BSP deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said the banking sector is largely an English language sector, which is why some banking terms appear vague for many Filipinos.

"In the past, we used English, but now we decided to use Filipino to be able to communicate better with people. If they understand the terms, the sense of intimidation is gone. That is one way to empower small businesses," he said.

Guinigundo added that many people are unsure about dealing with banks because some have a hard time understanding terms and conditions, which are all in English.

He now urges bank tellers to always communicate in the local tongue especially to clients who may not understand English that well.

He also said bank employees can explain complex banking concepts and services using Filipino, Bisaya, Ilonggo or any dialect in their provinces. This way, clients will know the exact details of their accounts and transactions.

Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino chairman and national artist Virgilio Almario said there's a need to translate many words in the banking industry as well as in other sectors like science and technology.