The Monetary Board approved the application of seven banks to establish a total of 162 branches in eight cities previously deemed "restricted".
Such approval is in line with the first phase of bank branching liberalization provided under BSP Circular 728.
Circular 728 grants banks who meet certain prudential standards the right to apply for branches in restricted zones. The restrictions on the eight cities will be subsequently fully lifted by 01 July 2014.
The MB approved the applications of the Development Bank of the Philippines, Land Bank of the Philippines, Security Bank, Eastwest Bank, Bank of Commerce, Planters Bank and Philippine Business Bank to establish branches in restricted cities of Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon and San Juan subject to compliance with conditions set in Circular 728.
The branching liberalization underscores the value of a competitive market environment in promoting quality financial services. By opening these eight cities to branches, banks who are not yet deeply entrenched in these areas are provided the opportunity to have a physical base to deliver banking services to the public.
This liberalization is expected to improve access to banking services. The public benefits with more choices while increasing competition among those banks that operate in these eight cities.