RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, Philippines

Over three fourths of the Philippine population is unbanked

This translates to only 15.8 million Filipinos out of 103.3 million.

Only a fourth (22.6%) of Filipino adults are in possession of a bank account which roughly translates to 15.8 million Filipinos that have funds deposited in banks and other financial institutions as of end-2017, according to the central bank.

The Philippines has an overall population of 103.3 million in 2016.

Also read: Weak payment culture raises credit risk of Philippine banks

Ownership of a bank account that can be used to receive salary, save and receive remittance and pay bills is a basic indicator of financial inclusion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a statement.

However, widespread poverty hampers bank ownership in the Philippines as 60% of the unbanked cite that they don’t have enough money to open an account.

This is followed by 21% who don’t perceive the need to open an account as they deal with cash in day-to-day transactions. Nearly a fifth (18%) admit the absence of the documents necessary to open an account hinders bank opening followed by high cost (10%). 

Education is also a another factor as 9% cite that they do not have enough knowledge to open an account followed by 8% who are unaware of the concept of a bank account. 

The Philippines has amongst the lowest bank account ownership rates in emerging Asia according to the World Bank. China and Indonesia's banked population are both at 80% whilst Indonesia is almost half at 49%. 

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