The first Foreign Banks in the Philippines were:
1. Standard Chartered Bank (from the UK, in 1872)
2. Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. (HSBC) (from Hong Kong, in 1875)
3. Citibank (from the US, in 1902)
4. Bank of America (from the US, in 1947)
5. JP Morgan Chase Bank (from the US, in 1961)
from Oldest Banks in the Philippines
The Newest Foreign Banks Licensed by the BSP to operate in the Philippines
It’s the digital banks GoTyme (which got its digital banking license in August 2021), and UnoBank and Tonik Digital Bank which were licensed in June 2021.
. GoTyme is a partnership of Singapore- and South Africa-based Tyme Bank and Philippine conglomerate JG Summit of the Gokongwei family.
. UnoBank is owned by Singapore-based fintech DigibankASIA Pte. Ltd.
. Tonik Digital Bank is 60%-owned by Singapore-based Tonik Financial Pte Ltd. and 40%-owned by Philippine companies Camerton Holdings and Oak Drive Ventures.
10 Foreign Banks Which Started Philippine Commercial Banking Operations in 2015 to 2018
These foreign banks entered the Philippine market under the 2014 Republic Act No. 10641, which allowed the entry of 100%-foreign-controlled banks into the Philippines.
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (from Japan, in 2015)
- Cathay United Bank (from Taiwan, 2015)
- Shinhan Bank (from South Korea, in 2015)
- Industrial Bank of Korea (from South Korea, in 2015)
- United Overseas Bank (UOB)* (from Singapore, in 2015)
- First Commercial Bank (from Taiwan, in 2016)
- Hua Nan Commercial Bank (from Taiwan, in 2017)
- Chang Hwa Commercial Bank (from Taiwan, in 2018)
- CIMB Bank Philippines (from Malaysia, in 2018)
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (from China, in 2018)
*UOB first entered the Philippine market in 1999 by acquiring part of Westmont Bank in 1999 and buying the rest in 2002. It sold its 66 branches to BDO in 2006 and downgraded into a thrift bank, and then ceased banking operations several years later.
What Are the Qualifications of Foreign Banks Approved to Operate in the Philippines?
The top 3 criteria in approving the applications of foreign banks are their:
1. Contributions to the Philippine economy
2. Contributions to the Philippine banking industry
3. Financial capability