3.8 million deposit accounts created under SAP program
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) executives are confident of having 70 percent of the adult population part of the formal financial system by 2023 after basic deposit accounts rose since the enhanced community quarantine.
In a virtual briefing Thursday, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said about 3.8 million deposit accounts were opened in line with the government’s social amelioration program (SAP), a financial support for families and individuals affected by the pandemic.
He said a bank, which he did not identify, registered almost one million new deposit accounts in the first half of this year alone.
“This data area (is a) good proxy for the increase in account penetration considering that their clients that opened these accounts are more likely still unbanked,” he said.
Diokno added that about four million accounts were opened digitally between March 17 to end-April, or when areas around the country were placed under community quarantine.
He, however, said these accounts may already be secondary accounts opened by some bank clients.
He said results of the 2019 BSP Financial Inclusion Survey showed that financial account ownership in the country jumped to 29 percent last year from 23 percent in 2017.
Diokno said their target to have 70 percent of the adult population to be financially included by 2023 was a “tall task” but they consider it doable “as a public demonstration of our strong commitment to drive inclusion, and to give us an ever greater sense of urgency.”
“A lower target would have been safe but uninspiring,” he said.
Thus, Diokno said results of the latest Financial Inclusion Survey, conducted before the pandemic, “have been encouraging.”
“This gives us confidence that we’re getting closer to our target sooner rather than later,” he said.
Diokno said they will continue to support programs that will promote affordable and reliable internet connection, particularly in the provinces, to boost their financial inclusion program.
He said the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or national ID will greatly help people in opening bank accounts.
He said implementation of PhilSys, which also serves as a digital ID, is on track.
Diokno said the Philippine Statistics Authority is targeting to register some five million low-income households this fourth quarter of the year.
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