The Monetary Board (MB) approved the guidelines on the establishment of bank branch-lite units anywhere in the country to facilitate greater access to efficient and competitive financial products and services.
This reform addresses the current situation where there are over 570 cities and municipalities with no banking presence. With simplified and more flexible provisions, banks will be better able to expand in areas which are unbanked and underserved.
Branch-lite units can provide a wide range of products and services suited for servicing the needs of the market. These product and service offerings will depend on the business model and strategies of the banks as defined by the board of directors. The banking products offered in branch-lite units shall exclude those suited for sophisticated clients with high risk tolerance.
The new guidelines also rationalize the current classifications of banking offices such as extension offices (EOS), other banking offices (OBOs) and micro-banking offices (MBOs) under the branch-lite framework.
This policy initiative is consistent with the Bangko Sentral's reform agenda to develop a more inclusive banking system.