Bangko Sentral to lay down rules for ‘digital banks’

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2020 05:31 PM

MANILA - The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will soon lay down the rules for a new class of financial institutions called digital banks, the head of the BSP said on Thursday. 

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said digital banks will be different from existing categories of banks as they will offer financial products and services that are processed end-to-end through digital platforms and electronic channels. 

Digital banks, which are also referred to as neobanks, will also have minimal or zero reliance on physical touchpoints. 

“These banks can help advance financial inclusion by addressing long standing demand and supply constraints to delivering financial services,” Diokno said. 

As digital banks are exposed to the same financial risks as other banks, the BSP said it expects these new banks to adhere to the same standards of corporate governance and risk management commensurate to their business model and risk profile.    

This will include standards on information technology and cybersecurity, outsourcing, consumer protection, anti-money laundering measures, and countering the financing of terrorism. 

“BSP is in the final stages of the policy formulation process. We hope to issue the policy before the end of the year,” said Diokno. 

Three existing banks have informed the BSP that they are moving into digital channels of service delivery, the BSP said.

Last March, the central bank urged Filipinos to do their banking transactions online as the country went on lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.

InstaPay transactions in April to May grew 57 percent, while the volume for PesoNet surged "significantly" by 325 percent, the BSP said last July, highlighting the increasing importance of digital transactions.