Philippine Banking History Part IV-A A +A
Sunday, June 24, 2012
FOR the past three weeks, we have been examining the history of banking in the Philippines. In this final article, we will focus on the development of financial and legal reforms in the country in the last two decades.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ “The General Banking Law Annotated: Book 2,” the financial innovations that were introduced in the Philippines can be divided into three episodes:
* Banking innovations prior to the 1990s;
* Institutional changes in the 1990s: classified into foreign exchange liberalization, financial liberalization, and the passage of the General Banking Law of 2000; and
* After the year 2000: the emergence of non-traditional banking products and services.
In 1992, the Bankers’ Association of the Philippines created the Philippine Dealing System (PDS). The PDS linked bank participants through an electronic screen-based network that enabled information sharing and the undertaking of foreign exchange transactions.
The same year, the Rural Banks Act of 1992 repealed Republic Act No. 720, as amended. The Rural Banks Act was passed to encourage and assist in the establishment of a rural banking system that would make credit available and readily accessible in the rural areas on reasonable terms.
On July 3, 1993, pursuant to its constitutional mandate to establish an independent central monetary authority, Congress passed House Bill 7037 and Senate Bill 1235, which were later signed into law as Republic Act 7653, otherwise known as The New Central Bank Act.
The law created the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas with the primordial responsibility to administer the monetary and banking system.
The same law declared that all powers, duties and functions vested by law in the Central Bank of the Philippines that not inconsistent with the provisions of Republic Act 7653, are deemed transferred to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Another significant legislation, Republic Act 7721 or An Act Liberalizing the Entry of Foreign Banks in the Philippines, was enacted in 1994.
The law liberalized the participation of foreign banks in the local banking system. From only four foreign banks in the country in 1994, the number soon grew to 18 head offices and subsidiaries.
Several important developments occurred during this decade, like the discontinuation of Bangko Sentral development lending and the relaxation of rules on bank entry and branching.
Interest payments were also allowed on demand deposits and banks began to innovate in the area of deposits offered—an example would be the offering of savings discounts with life insurance included.
In 1995, the Thrift Banks Act was enacted to meet the needs for capital, or personal and investment credit or medium- and long-term for Filipino entrepreneurs. At the same time, the law placed medium- and long-term credit facilities (at reasonable cost) within the Filipino people’s easy reach.
On April 12, 2000, Republic Act 8791, also known as the General Banking Law of 2000, was enacted -- repealing the 52-year-old banking law.
The passage of the General Banking Law of 2000 strengthened the Bangko Sentral’s policy agenda and institutionalized banking reforms in the Philippines.