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Are PH banks safe? (Top rating is BBB-)

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Are PH banks safe?  (Top rating is BBB-)

(there is a scare today about BPI - often regarded as one of the safest PH banks)



BPI probing reports of unauthorized withdrawals in accounts
CNN Philippines-4 hours ago
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) —

— The Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) is investigating reports of unauthorized withdrawals in accounts.

BPI Strategic Brand and Communication Management Head Tricia Camarillo-Quiambao told CNN Philippines on June 7 that the bank is working on restoring the correct amounts to affected accounts.

She also said the bank is still checking how many clients are affected and which types of accounts they hold.

In a statement on Wednesday, BPI said: "Due to an internal data processing error, some clients may have seen their accounts debited twice or credited twice for a past transaction," the bank said.

"We are currently correcting the mispostings. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused," it added.

In a second statement on Wednesday, BPI said the error caused some transactions between April 27 and May 2 to be double-posted as of June 6.

The bank added it has identified the cause of the error and will temporarily suspend access to online banking channels.

"All BPI branches will open on time this morning, and will continue to service your needs," BPI said. "We anticipate full resolution of this error within today. We wish to reassure our clients that this matter will be resolved expediently, and that none of them will lose money from this incident.

Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla dismissed rumors that BPI's system was hacked.

> http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/06/07/bpi-report-unauthorized-withdrawal.html


I am inclined to NOT worry:

+ I would expect the Bank to cover any losses
+ That is what should happen, when it is their mistake. Else, no one would keep money there.

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Actually, today's newspapers had stories about how STRONG are PH banks

Like this one:

Economic strength to boost banks' credit scores

SUSTAINED ECONOMIC growth as well as the robust performance of the banks could upgrade the credit scores of Philippine lenders, an official from Fitch Ratings said, with the rising interest rate environment having no effect on the debt watcher's outlook on banks

+ Philippine economic growth in the first quarter was logged at 6.4%, slower than the 6.6% in the previous quarter and 6.9% registered in the same period last year. In 2016, the economy grew at its fastest rate in three years at 6.8%

+ Fast economic growth (will help) keep the country's banking system attractive to foreign capital. Foreign investors want to participate in the country's growth story


STABLE ratings for:

+ "Ayala-led" Bank of Philippine Island (BPI)
+ "Sy-led" BDO Unibank (BDO)
+ China Banking Corp (China Bank)
+ Metropolitan Bank & Trust (Metrobank)
+ Philippine National Bank (PNB)
+ Rizal Banking Corp (RCBC)

"Stable Rating" means that: "risks are evenly balanced and credit scores for those lenders will likely be kept unchanged in the next year or two"

Long Term Default ratings:
BBB- : BPI, BDO, and Metrobank
BB +  : China bank, PNB, and RCBC


The Philippines currently holds a BBB- rating, with a positive outlook.

The usual rule is that a bank located within a country will not get a higher rating than the country itself.
The state-owned banks, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank),
also got the "positive" rating, mirroring the rating they gave to the country

Markets have priced in that the US Central bank will decide to hike rates in their meeting this week

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Ayala merges banking assets
Philippine Star-4 Feb 2017
He said the corporate regulator also approved the change in the corporate name of BPIDS to BPI Direct BanKO Inc., A Savings Bank.

MANILA, Philippines - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the consolidation of the banking assets of conglomerate Ayala Corp. after Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) assumed full ownership of the country’s first mobile phone-based microfinance savings bank last year.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. issued Circular Letter 2017-009 on the merger between BPI Direct Savings Bank Inc. (BPIDS) and BPI Globe BanKO Inc., A Savings Bank.

Espenilla said the SEC approved the Articles and Plan of Merger between BPIDS and BPIGL. Under the merger, BPIDS would absorb the entire assets and liabilities of BPIGL.

He said the corporate regulator also approved the change in the corporate name of BPIDS to BPI Direct BanKO Inc., A Savings Bank.

Last September, BPI took full control of BPIGL after both Ayala Corp. and Globe Telecom Inc. sold their combined 60 percent interest to the country’s third largest bank.

Ayala, Globe, and BPI signed a memorandum of agreement in October 2008 to form a joint venture that would allow rural and low-income customers’ access to financial products and services.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

The BSP approved in October 2009 the sale and transfer by BPI of its shares of stock in Pilipinas Savings Bank Inc. (PSBI) to formalize the creation of the venture. Globe’s and BPI’s ownership stakes in PSBI were at 40 percent each while Ayala’s shareholding was at 20 percent.

The stakeholders then renamed PSBI into BPIGL to become the country’s first mobile microfinance bank. It opened its first branch in Metro Manila in the first quarter of 2011. It now has six branches nationwide, over 2,000 partner outlets, 261,000 customers, and over P2.4 billion in its wholesale loan portfolio.

The assumption of full ownership by BPI is an important step in the continued effort of the Ayala Group to provide access to essential financial services to the unbanked segments of our population.

The Ayala Group remains committed to inclusive growth through both BPI and Globe’s traditional and non-traditional ventures in the microfinance space.

BPI is the country’s fourth largest bank in terms of assets with P1.31 trillion as of end September last year.

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BPI system glitch fixed, ATM's back up - Manila Times, June 10, 2017

AYALA-led Bank of the Philippine Islands said finally fixed a system glitch that caused the double-posting of certain transactions , two days after it deactovated its online services and automatic teller machines (ATM's) to rectify the internal error.

+ Customers say their balances are (now) in the same amount as before the glitch occurred

+ The central bank said it would investigate unauthorized transactions


Personally, I found it handy to see that BPI was open on Saturday. The branch I visited was virtually empty, with no signs of stress anywhere

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