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Bank deposits up 8% to P11.8 trillion in end-March
During the first quarter, the BSP said demand deposits increased by 2.8 percent, while savings deposits expanded by 1.8 percent.
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Bank deposits up 8% to P11.8 trillion in end-March

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - June 23, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — More Filipinos still opted to save despite the lower interest rates offered by banks as deposits increased by nearly eight percent to P11.8 trillion in end-March, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

During the first quarter, the BSP said demand deposits increased by 2.8 percent, while savings deposits expanded by 1.8 percent.

On the other hand, time deposits declined by 8.9 percent, while foreign currency deposits slipped by 0.5 percent to P2 trillion during the review period.

Most Philippine banks have lowered the interest on deposits to 0.125 percent.

This came after the BSP slashed interest rates by a cumulative 200 basis points to an all-time low of two percent last year as part of aggressive easing measures to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the higher savings mobilization, the BSP reported that the total assets of Philippine banks went up by 6.6 percent to P20 trillion as of end-March. The level was equivalent to 112 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

In terms of the number of banks, the BSP said head offices declined to 528 in end-March from 542 in the same period last year due to the continued consolidation of banks and the closure or weak players.

On the other hand, the number of branches increased to 13,089 offices in end-March from 12,905 offices a year ago.

During the observance of the 19th Depositor Protection and Awareness Week (DPAW), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. president and chief executive officer Roberto Tan said the world is still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The extraordinary scale of this crisis left no part of the world unaffected, and many of us still worry about the future as we continue to grapple with and adapt to the new normal when life as we know it changed significantly in early 2020,” Tan said.

Even with the quarantine restrictions and other pandemic-related risks and challenges, Tan said the banking sector remained operational and accessible to the public, whether through physical branches, ATMs or through digital means.

“Filipinos could rely on banks to safeguard their savings. They could count on the services provided by banks that allowed them to pay for their essentials, settle bills and send money to loved ones. The radical changes brought on by the pandemic highlighted how crucial the services are that banks provide to the government, businesses and households,” Tan said.

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