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March 01, 2024

ECCP to work with new gov’t to develop open finance, push financial inclusion

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ (ECCP) Special Committee on Open Finance and Financial Inclusion (SCOFFI) will support the new administration’s initiatives to promote financial inclusion and open finance.

By reducing transaction costs through consent-driven data portability, interoperability, and collaborative partnerships among financial institutions and third-party providers (TPPs), open finance seeks to provide customers with a better banking experience.

Under open finance, industry players are able to create customer-centric products and provide better access to critical financial services such as savings, insurance, and credit.

This wholly inclusive ecosystem seeks to close the gap when it comes to access to formal financial institutions.

Under its Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) aims to bring at least 70 percent of adult Filipinos into the formal financial system and convert 50 percent to total retail transaction to electronic channels by 2023.

ECCP-SCOFFI Chair John Januszczak said that the role of financial inclusion in developing the economy should not be underestimated.

“In fact, it should be a priority. After all, including critical segments into the country’s financial a system is crucial to help the economy recover from the ill effects of the pandemic. Hence, we at the ECCP-SCOFFI vow to support the incoming administration in its initiatives towards financial inclusion and open finance,” Januszczak said.

Januszczak, who is also president and CEO of UnionBank’s UBX said that one of the underserved sectors to be benefit from open finance is the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including sari-sari stores, carinderia, and fish stalls that rely on small loans to keep their businesses afloat.

“Financial inclusion requires deliberate and coordinated action among all of the stakeholders, and the government plays a major role in pushing for this agenda. I truly hope that our new leaders will be keen on advocating for the vulnerable sectors to be included in our financial systems,” the bankero said.

Now, with big changes expected in the Philippines come June 2022, Januszczak calls on the newly elected leaders, policymakers, and even industry players to uphold the BSP’s agenda.


Security Bank posts net income of PHP9.1 billion in 2023

Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) posted net income of PHP9.1 billion in 2023. Total revenues grew 8% year-on-year to PHP43.0 billion. Net interest income increased 19% to PHP34.7 billion. Net interest margin for the full year was 4.49%, higher compared to 4.23% in 2022. Total non-interest income was at PHP8.2 billion. Service charges, fees and commissions grew 15% to PHP6.1 billion, led by increase in fees from credit cards, remittances (which include Instapay fees) and bancassurance.

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