WHOLESALE BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines

Philippines trims number of banks

The Philippines has 27 less banks.

It has been further trimmed to 712 by its cnetral bank as of end-June from 723 in the quarter ending in March.

The 27 shut down are composed of a commercial bank, three thrift banks and 23 rural and cooperative banks.

The said commercial bank, Export & Industry Bank, is awaiting schedule for a public bidding after attempts to sell it by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. last October 18 was slapped by a temporary restraining order.

It is the first bank since 2001 that have been padlocked by the regulator for insolvency.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has been crafting and improving existing rules and regulations to encourage further consolidations in the banking industry, especially among the rural banks. It currently implements a P5-billion rural banking consolidation and merger program called the Strengthening Program for Rural Banks or SPRB with PDIC.

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