BSP eases rules on banking hours

MANILA, Philippines – Local banks may now easily extend their banking hours to provide more services to their clients after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas issued new regulations that liberalized operating hours for banks.

In a statement, the BSP said it had approved a new framework that makes it easier for banks to extend their banking hours.

“The new framework recognizes the evolving needs of financial consumers, especially those who require banking services beyond current regular business hours,” the central bank said.

“This is firmly in line with the BSP’s thrust of empowering financial consumers, which is essential to fostering the stability of the financial system,” it added.

The central bank currently requires banks to open for business for a minimum of six hours a day, and five days a week, except for holidays.

The BSP said this is different from their provision of e-banking services and automated teller machine operations.

Under the new framework, banks wanting to change or lengthen the schedule of their operations will only need to send a “prior written notice” to the central bank.

Providing full banking services during the extended period is also allowed under the new framework which means banks may conduct check processing, bank certification, payment orders, check reorders, bills and loan payments, and other services.

Previously, banks are required to get a BSP approval for changing the schedule of their banking hours, for carrying on services other than their core functions during the extended hours, and for starting banking hours before 8:00 a.m. or extending beyond 8:00 p.m.

But the central bank stressed that despite easier regulations on banking hours, banks should make sure adequate security measures are in place and customers are informed of any changes in their business hours.

“While the new framework liberalizes rules on banking hours, it requires compliance with minimum security measures which may include the posting of guards and the placement of security devices,” the BSP said.

“It also directs banks to inform their clients and the general public about the adjusted banking hours by posting the schedule conspicuously at the banks’ premises,” the BSP continued.