Eight more foreign banks eye PH offices

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Eight more foreign banks are seeking to set up shop in the Philippines that could further boost the banking industry, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said. 

Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said eight Asian banks had expressed interest to expand presence in the Philippines, while some foreign banks planned to establish a representative office in the country. 

A representative office refers to a liaison office of a foreign bank, which deals directly with the public by promoting and giving information about its services. 

It does not include the regional or area headquarters of a foreign bank registered and licensed under existing laws.

Bangko Sentral Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.

“Representative offices are mainly focused on marketing. It is also important because rep offices are also useful in drawing in investments into the country,” Espenilla said. 

“But if they see a really good market demand, it may progress into a branch application,” he added. 

So far, eight foreign banks secured approvals from the central bank to operate in the country, namely Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., South Korea’s Industrial Bank of Korea, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank, Taiwan’s Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Commercial Bank Co. Ltd. and First Commercial Bank and Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd. 

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