BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said bills pertaining to amendments to the bank deposit secrecy law, the financial consumer protection bill, and the agricultural financing reforms, among others would further improve access to quality financial products and promote the interests of the general public.
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Easing of bank secrecy, consumer protection top BSP agenda
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 1, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has prioritized amendments to the bank deposit secrecy law as well as consumer protection in its legislative wish list for the next Congress.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said bills pertaining to amendments to the bank deposit secrecy law, the financial consumer protection bill, and the agricultural financing reforms, among others would further improve access to quality financial products and promote the interests of the general public.

“We shall work with the 18th Congress in the legislation of laws that support a strong economy and promote a high quality of life for all Filipinos. This is the BSP’s vision. But we cannot do it alone. We need the help of various stakeholders to make this happen,” Diokno said.

Proposed amendments to the bank deposit secrecy law aim to make financial institutions comply with international standards on transparency and combat both domestic and global tax evasion, money laundering and other financial crimes.

It has been the advocacy of the central bank to ease the bank deposit secrecy law for the past several years.

On the other hand, the financial consumer protection bill aims to provide a comprehensive financial consumer protection regime that consolidates financial inclusion, financial education, good governance, and effective supervision for the purpose of consumer protection.

Likewise, the BSP continues to push for amendments to Republic Act 1000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 that continues to punish banks through penalties for failing to meet the thresholds of the mandated lending.

The law requires banks to allot at least 10 percent of total loanable funds for agrarian reform beneficiaries and 15 percent for farmers and fisherfolk.

“Amendments to this law will allow banks to merge their loan allocation to the farm sector as a measure to improve banks’ compliance rate,” the BSP said.

Over the past year, Diokno said the BSP has supported the passage of key laws that helped strengthen its functions as the central monetary authority and primary banking regulator, further promote financial inclusion, and introduce more reforms in the financial system.

These recently passed laws include RA 11211 amending RA. 7653 or the BSP charter. RA 11127 or the National Payment Systems Act, RA.11055 or the Philippine Identification System Act, and RA 11256 or the Gold Law.

Amendments to the BSP charter embody a package of reforms that aims to further align the operations of the central bank with global best practices, enhance its corporate viability, and strengthen its capacity for crafting policies, while the National Payment Systems Act provides a comprehensive legal framework for fostering an efficient, secure and reliable payment system.

Likewise, the PhilSys Act addresses the need for millions of unbanked Filipinos to have an identification card that is needed in opening a bank account, or to avail themselves of financial products and services.

Likewise, the Islamic Banking Framework Bill paving the way for the development of Islamic banks in the country is awaiting the signature of President Duterte.

The BSP chief said he would strictly and promptly implement these recently passed laws.

BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS BANK DEPOSIT SECRECY LAW BENJAMIN DIOKNO
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