BSP, Malaysian central bank ink deal for banks’ entry
BSP, Malaysian central bank ink deal for banks’ entry
The agreement allows up to 3 Qualified ASEAN Banks from each country to operate in the other country

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and its Malaysian counterpart have signed an agreement as part of the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF), which is designed to solidify inter-regional trade and investments.

The BSP and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysia’s central bank, have agreed on the guidelines for the entry of Qualified ASEAN Banks (QABs) between the two countries, the BSP announced in a statement on Monday, March 14.

The guidelines are stated in the Heads of Agreement (HoA) signed by BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr and BNM Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz in Kuala Lumpur on the same day.

A key provision of the HoA is that it allows up to 3 QABs from each jurisdiction to operate in the other country.

The BSP-BNM HoA is one of the first bilateral agreements to be signed under the ABIF and marks a milestone within the broader ASEAN community.

While the HoA outlines market access and operational flexibilities that may be accorded to QABs, these QABs shall operate under the prevailing laws and regulations in the Philippines and Malaysia, respectively.

“By signing this agreement, the BSP manifests its commitment to support greater regional financial integration and economic development through the ABIF,” said Tetangco.

He added that “being among the first ASEAN economies to do so only further highlights the importance we place upon the ABIF as a regional initiative and as the future of our region.”

The QABs will enter the host jurisdiction only in the form of a subsidiary of the parent bank in the home jurisdiction.

As QABs from Malaysia enter the Philippines, they will be regulated under applicable BSP regulations and within the legal framework defined under Republic Act No. 10641.

QABs are strong and well-managed banks that are headquartered in ASEAN and majority-owned by ASEAN nationals. Banks which apply for QAB status must be endorsed by the home country regulator and may be accepted by the host country regulator based on their bilateral agreement.

The ABIF is designed to realize the vision of “One ASEAN Community,” using QABs as the vehicle for maximizing the vast trade and investment potential of Southeast Asia. –

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