BSP’s New Rules on Interest Rates Promote Transparency

The new rules by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) (Circular No. 730, Series of 2011) that seek to promote transparency in loan prices by requiring all banks to charge interest based on the outstanding balance of a loan at the beginning of an interest period, and to quote the effective interest rates of loan products in their loan documents and marketing materials. The new rules will take into effect on 1 July 2012.

According to BSP, loan pricing transparency will protect consumers, promote healthy competition, and enable smooth and orderly functions of the entire financial system. This new policy …

Rural Banks at the Forefront of Financial Inclusion

During his keynote speech at the Inaugural Dinner of the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP) last August 4, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr recalled the journey of the two institutions in pursuance of advancing the rural banking sector and expanding financial services through innovative channels to more Filipinos.

Governor Tetangco noted that only five years ago, products and services offered by rural banks were limited. The recent BSP’s Circular 678, 680 and 683 are now allowing rural banks to expand products and services to serve even more clients than ever before. These circulars recognize

2011 MCPI Conference highlights collaboration for responsible microfinance

Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines-Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) Program helped facilitate two sessions of the 2011 Microfinance Council of the Philippines Inc. (MCPI) Conference last July 28-29 at the Hyatt Hotel Manila. The conference themed, “Making a Difference: Multi-Stakeholder Action towards Responsible Microfinance” aims to promote responsible financial products and practices while addressing global pressing issues and challenges to microfinance.

On the first day of the conference, RBAP-MABS Chief of Party John V. Owens facilitated a session on Avoiding Over-indebtedness with Ms. Mila Bunker, President of Ahon Sa Hirap Inc. (ASHI) and Chairperson of MCPI. The session …

USAID/Philippines RBAP-MABS program highlighted at the ‘Mission of the Month’ event in Washington DC

USAID/Washington designated the Philippines as its ‘Mission of the Month’ for April 2011, and highlighted the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines – Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (RBAP-MABS) program as a project that has demonstrated impact.  During the event, the program’s success stories and lessons learned were shared with officials at the USAID headquarters in Washington, DC.

Melissa Scudo, Chemonics’ Director for Asia, presented the program’s history, work with rural banks, technical approach, and innovations in the field of microfinance.  The RBAP-MABS program supported by USAID/Philippines works with rural banks to sustainably expand microenterprise access to banking services throughout …

Cantilan Bank Celebrates 30 Years of Progressive and Excellent Community Banking Services

More than 500 attendees packed into a basketball gymnasium in Cantilan’s town square to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cantilan Bank. The gala highlighted the banks remarkable growth over the past three decades and underscored the important role microfinance services played in their success.

MABS started working with Cantilan Bank 11 years ago, when it had just three branches and 35 employees. Now, the bank is 260 employees strong with 12 branches across Surigao. The bank-wide loan portfolio grew from around P50M to P652M. The number of microfinance borrowers is 39% of Cantilan’s total borrowers with a client base …

First rural bank Small Claims Court case successfully settled

January 05, 2009 – The first small claims case hearing involving a rural bank in the Philippines was successfully conducted in twenty minutes and the case decided on in one-and-a-half hours in a Small Claims Court (SCC) in Davao. The case involved a microfinance client with an outstanding loan of Php 18,000 (from an original loan of Php 40,000) from a rural bank; the client agreed to settle the amount with the bank within the next eight months.

The SCC concept originated in the United States and was formulated for adoption in the Philippines with assistance from United Stated Agency …