Over 86 pct of Filipinos remain "unbanked": Philippine finance chief

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-24 16:21:34|Editor: liuxin
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MANILA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine finance chief said on Friday that over 86 percent of Filipinos remain unbanked, vowing to bring them to the financial mainstream and effectively mobilize local capital for investments.

"(The over 86 percent of Filipinos who remain unbanked ) to this day is an intolerable ratio of the population excluded from the financial mainstream," Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a speech released on Friday.

He said the government aims "to reduce that number dramatically over the next few years. Continuous technological innovation in banking practices will help bring us closer to financial inclusion."

Based on an early survey of the Philippine central bank this year, the main reason cited by respondents for not having bank accounts was not having enough money to keep one. Others said they did not need accounts, they could not manage an account, they found banks or similar institutions inaccessible and service charges were too high or they did not trust banks.

In the third quarter of this year, Dominguez said the Philippine economy performed "beyond expectations."

"Our gross domestic product grew by a remarkable 6.9 percent. The highest growth was posted by the manufacturing sector. This encourages us all the more," he said.

He said the economic strategy that the Philippine government is pursuing seeks to shift the economic growth from being consumption-led to one that is investments-led.

"The shift will enable us to create meaningful jobs for our young population. It is never enough to design our policies to encourage investments," he said, adding that the country's financial sector "must be both robust and innovative to fund new investments."

He said the Philippines now needs the keen experience of (banking) institutions in getting more people enrolled in the banking sector, mobilizing capital effectively and allocating funds for investment adeptly.