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Philippine Watchdog To Ease Bank Merger Rules To Promote Deals

 |  November 7, 2021

Philippine financial regulators will work to streamline requirements and cut by two thirds the processing time of bank mergers and acquisitions, this to encourage consolidation.

According to Reuters, the country’s banking industry, while small in its entirety, is overcrowded with more than 500 banks, mostly rural lenders, operating across the archipelago of 7,600 islands.

The same report said the top 10 universal banks in the Philippines had $303 billion in combined assets as of end-June, equivalent to just two-thirds of the total assets of Singapore’s DBS Bank, government data show.

The new rules agreed by the central bank, the securities regulator and anti-monopoly agency will reduce documentary requirements of M&A proposals to 30 from 58, and cut processing time to 55 business days from an average of 160 days.

“We acknowledge that mergers, consolidations and acquisitions can catalyse innovation in any industry, including banking, because of combined resources and expertise,” Arsenio Balisacan, head of the county’s competition commission, said in a joint statement.

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