BSP likely to keep loose monetary policy for extended period: Citi

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2021 03:15 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas likely to maintain an accommodative monetary policy for an "extended period of time," an official of Citi Philippines said Wednesday, as the government beefs up its COVID-19 containment and recovery response.

"I think the Philippines will be one of those that will have to keep a loose monetary policy for an extended period of time, in sharp contrast of course than some of our neighbors like Korea that triggered a tightening cycle," Citi Philippines head of Markets and Securities Services Paul Favila told reporters.

The BSP has done much during the pandemic to support the economy, Favila said.

"I expect we will continue to see an accommodative monetary policy. As far as the central bank is concerned I think they’ve done a whole lot," he added.

BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno earlier said the BSP would keep its accommodative stance as long as necessary.

The central bank reduced the benchmark interest rate, used by banks to price loans, at its record-low of 2 percent. The Monetary Board is set to meet Thursday. 

'DIGITAL AGENDA' 

Citi officials have said its investments in digital have ensured continued and seamless services to corporate clients despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Our investments in Citi's platform to build multi-channel, cross-asset connectivity is paying off as clients increasingly pivot to a provider who can meet all of their needs in times of disruption," Citi Asia Pacific Head of Markets and Securities Services Stuart Staley said.

Risks in going digital include resiliency and cybersecurity, which are "front and center" in Citi's agenda, Favila said.

"These are things that we have been working on for a good amount of time and we have been hard at work to bolster the resiliency of the systems," he said.

"Within the first week of the lockdown, we’re pretty much in step with BSP for the necessary changes done for us to be able to delivery digital platform to customers seamlessly," he added.

Favila also noted that the firm has a strong global cybersecurity network. 

During the pandemic, Citi launched digital solutions for clients such as the CitiFX Pulse with real-time market access to global hubs and local markets in over 70 countries, Citi said.

More features have also been integrated into its Citi Velocity platform that offers electronic access to capital markets services and research, among others, it added.

The Citi group operates business in over 160 countries.

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