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Philippines – Banking

Philippines is diverse and rapidly evolving. There are a number of local and international banks operating in the country, providing a range of services to both locals and expats. In this article, we will explore the main local and international banks in the Philippines, their contact details, the accounts and services they offer, typical bank opening hours, areas of concern for expats, and the process for opening a bank account as an expat.

Main Local Banks in the Philippines

The main local banks in the Philippines are:

International banks in the Philippines

There are a number of major international banks that have a presence in the Philippines. These include:

  • Citibank – Citibank operates in the Philippines and offers various banking solutions.
  • HSBC – HSBC serves customers in the Philippines with its banking services.
  • Standard Chartered Bank – Standard Chartered is a major international bank with a presence in the Philippines.

Accounts and Services for Expats

Banks in the Philippines offer a range of accounts and services for expats. These include:

  • Savings accounts
  • Current accounts
  • Time deposit accounts
  • Foreign currency accounts
  • Online banking
  • Mobile banking
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Remittance services

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Banking hours in the Philippines vary depending on the bank and the location. However, most banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Areas of Concern for Expats

Expats should be aware of the following when banking in the Philippines:


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  • The banking system is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which is responsible for maintaining the stability of the banking system.
  • The BSP requires banks to obtain identification from their customers, which can include a passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued ID.
  • Banking services in the Philippines can sometimes be slow, and there may be long queues in branches.
  • Fees and charges for banking services can be high, particularly for international transfers.

Opening a Bank Account

  1. Research different banks and their account options to find the best fit for your needs.
  2. Visit a branch of the chosen bank and bring the necessary documents, which may include:
  • Passport or government-issued ID
  • Proof of residence (e.g. utility bill or rental agreement)
  • Alien Certificate of Registration (ACR) or Special Investor’s Residence Visa (SIRV) for non-Filipino residents
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN) or proof of application for a TIN
  1. Fill out the necessary forms and provide any additional information requested by the bank.
  2. Make an initial deposit to fund the account.
  3. Wait for the account to be approved and activated, which may take several days or longer.
  4. Once the account is activated, you will be given a debit card and/or checks to use for transactions.


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.  Germany's Health Insurance Update:  Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.  COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:  With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.  Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:  Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.  Spain's New Health Advice App:  Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.  Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:  A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.  Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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