Living In The Philippines Forum

It’s Your Money => Banking => Topic started by: don.herrington on January 01, 2008, 06:04:45 PM

Title: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: don.herrington on January 01, 2008, 06:04:45 PM
Got to the bank. Yes, got to go there and sign up. You need two pieces of ID. Foreigners should always bring their passports.

Some bank will say you need an Alien Resident Certificate, ACR.  You do not. If you open a US dollar savings account you do not. If you open a peso account you do, my understanding of this date, January 1, 2008.

It is good to have another foreigner who has an account go with you. But usually they will be happy to help you. Go to the branch manager and introduce yourself. Things here are done not by rule as the primary consideration but by relationships being most important. With the proper relationships, rules and procedures made enforced by humans can be \"adjusted,\" buy  them.

Travelers checks are a pain. I hope someone will write more on them. Many use ATM\'s. I hope someone who uses ATM not just a bank account as I do to get money will write something.

I will come back to this later. I hope other add to what I have started.

Respectfully,
Don

Don A. Herrington
http://www.livinginthephilippines.com
Philippines, Heart of Asia:
Expat, Foreigner, Tourist Forum
http://www.livinginthephilippines.com/forum
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Jan on January 01, 2008, 06:12:18 PM


Some bank will say you need an Alien Resident Certificate, ACR.  You do not. If you open a US dollar savings account you do not. If you open a peso account you do, my understanding of this date, January 1, 2008.


Ron, I tried in 4 local banks and failed to open. Next time I hope to find someone to join me as you sugested.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 01, 2008, 06:47:54 PM
Guys,

I opened an account with HSBC here with little fuss, just needed Php100,000 which I transferred with my Visa Debit card. The Php100k has to be kept as a balance to keep the account open but I got online banking, ATM cards & cheque book.

I was not living in the PI at the time, just on a visit & it was set up in just a hour. I can give anyone in Manila area a HSBC contact to help if needed.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 01, 2008, 08:30:37 PM
We have opened accounts with the Coconut Planters Bank and the Allied Bank before we moved here and had no problems. Since moving here we have opened Allied Bank accounts in different branches very quickly and again with no problems. The only minor problem was with BPI that insisted on two photo ID\'s from both of us for a joint account. I was OK and could have opened an account but my wife only had one at the time. We decided that they were being too difficult and did not bother.

Colin
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 02, 2008, 02:56:46 AM
Procedures and required information to open bank accounts vary from bank to bank.  For instance, the bank I use is Philippine National Bank. I chose PNB only because it was the nearest branch when I built my house in Cebu.  They need nothing more than a signature and adequate identification, which could be a passport and/or driver\'s license.  You may also create an account while you\'re still abroad, peso or dollar.  You don\'t need to be in the country or even Filipino.  You only need to visit one of the PNB RCI\'s (Remittance Center Inc) to have your signature witnessed. 
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 02, 2008, 09:12:39 PM
Procedures differ from bank to bank  ???

Needed 2 IDs - an address in the philippines - minimum deposit (varies on type of account from P500 for a passbook savings)

I was helped by my fiancee already being a customer, we opened joint accounts at BPI checking (minimum P10,000), RCBC savings (P10,000) and Postal savings (P5000)
A referral from an ex-pat customer didn\'t hurt either

BPI has ATM, RCBC & Postal passbooks.......RCBC and Postal open on SATURDAY mornings....very useful at times

Union Bank wants a P100,000 before they\'ll rent us a safety deposit box  
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: fred on January 03, 2008, 08:29:58 PM
HSBC were very explicit that I could not open ANY account without an ACR card.
The banking adviser did not know this and suggested to me that as a foreigner I simply could not open an account.
I asked her to check her companies policy notes on the computer in front of her.
This is when she learned of the ACR requirement.
This was a requirement for either a Peso acc. or a Sterling/Dollar acc.

Fred.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 03, 2008, 08:36:56 PM
Fred,

Which branch of HSBC? I know it was 2 years ago now but as I said earlier, I had no problem opening a Power Vantage account at the Ortegas branch in Makati. I will try to check with my contact & get back on this.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: fred on January 03, 2008, 08:44:43 PM
This is HSBC in Robinsons Imus.
5000 PHP maintaining balance for a local PHP acc.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: steveinvisayas on January 04, 2008, 03:30:18 AM
I opened an account with PNB (Tagbilaran, Bohol branch) in the Philippines from California by going online to the PNB Los Angeles main office, getting their phone # and speaking with a very helpful lady who sent me the necessary paperwork. I had to give copies of two IDs (drivers license and passport), get two photos to attach to the main application form and a bank check for $300. I wanted a \'Super Teller\' (ATM) peso account as my fiancee told me that PNB is not open Saturdays so the passbook only account is less useful. The fee is $40 to open such an account and the minimum deposit is $160 but I put in a little more, what the heck. PNB says that you can have your Social Security retirement checks deposited which I may do when I\'m eligible in 2 years.

I dropped by the Los Angeles office to sign the signature card and give them all the paperwork. They say it takes about 6 weeks to process all of this and that the Tagbilaran branch will have my ATM card, etc when I go over there in April. The hardest part of all this was the LA holiday traffic, dang!

I followed the advice I read on the LinP3 group and first had my fiancee open an account at a PNB in Cebu so I could transfer money to her easily. She had to get copies of her birth certificate and NBI clearance and also two photos plus the P10,000 opening deposit. Then it was a simple matter of my going online to the PNB RCI and authorizing them to deduct any amount up to $1000 from my US bank account to transfer to her account in Cebu. This is accomplished in two days. I have been paying $5 fee for transfer of P5,000 and P10,000 which is a nice savings from the $14 Western Union charges. I\'ll be able to do this from my US account to my new PNB account once I get over there I believe.

Hope this helps,   Steve
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 04, 2008, 08:49:54 AM
This is HSBC in Robinsons Imus.
5000 PHP maintaining balance for a local PHP acc.

Hi Fred,

That explains the need for ACR. I was referring to opening an account when 1st arriving here. HSBC allow a foreigner to open a Peso account as long as it is a Power Advantage account, which requires a deposit of Php100,000. This only required my passport to open & took about an hour. I maintain this account as my \'emergency\' fund. I drawer from my UK account for living expenses.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 04, 2008, 08:58:03 AM
I tried to open an HSBC account when I first moved here, but was told that I could not withdraw from it for 6 months. This defeated the object as I needed it for immediate spending money, so I opened one in Allied Bank instead.

Colin
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 04, 2008, 01:40:05 PM
Colin,

Again, I don\'t understand this unless it is a different type of account (not Power Vantage) or with HSBC Savings Bank, which is different from HSBC.

I was here for 1 week & needed to set up an account with cheque book so I could have 12 post dated cheques for the 1yr interest free payment on our house. I deposited Php100,000 from my Visa Debit card & they gave me a temporary cheque book there & then. Each month I then transferred from my HSBC in Malaysia, enough to cover each post dated cheque as they were presented. Our ATM cards followed shortly after.

Very friendly, very helpful & very professional here & in Malaysia.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 04, 2008, 02:23:24 PM
Keith,

I don\'t remember the name/type of account but it was at their head office, the tower block in Makati. They were very helpful, but it was part way through the application process that we found out about the 6 month rule. They did not offer us any account that we could use immediately.

Colin
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Rick B on January 09, 2008, 09:59:39 PM
I have opened a bank account in Davao (HSBC) in advance of being there (going from the UK in 1 weeks time) but when i have asked quetions about what i can and what i can\'t do between my accounts here in the uk and when i am in Davao, i have had contradictory answers, i have adopted the stance of lets wait and see, there will be a will and a way somehow
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: fred on January 09, 2008, 10:45:37 PM
a problem we are having with barclays bank at the moment is with their online services..it now seems that they have changed their security system and I need a card and personal card machine..  Mean while,I have no access to my account. Try calling them about this and I end up speaking with someone from Bombay that cannot understand what I am asking them.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: BigBird on January 10, 2008, 12:41:56 AM
My wife and I have a joint account at PNB.  We have had it since 2004.   When she came to USA she was sure to leave the required Php 10,000 plus a bit more to keep it in good standing.  We have our bank book.

It is going on 2 1/2 years now since she left and we plan our return vacation in May 08.

I called PNB New York to verify my balance before I start to deposit vacation monies.  They took my money on deposit and closed my account as dormant!

They will try to find my money and open my account again but I had to make another deposit of at least $100 before they would try to make my account whole and active again.  I also had to write a letter to the attention of the Sales & Service Head at the branch and ask for my money back.

Beware if you keep it dormant!!

I sent PNB a deposit several weeks ago and still no receipt or reply yet!


Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: hyaku on January 14, 2008, 12:01:04 AM
I would like to add that you can open an account at HSBC without ACR. But you will only be able to draw money out of the account. You cant put peso in without ACR. I suppose a lot of foreigners might not be aware of this fact as most only draw money out.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on January 14, 2008, 08:59:27 AM
I again, refer to my earlier posts on this. I agree that you don\'t need an ACR to open the account but disagree that you cannot deposit Peso afterwards without one.

I recently deposited a cheque (construction bond returned from my Homeowners association) which was in Peso. Deposit accepted with no questions asked. I have only just got my ACR, not that I was asked for it anyway.

I would suggest if any of the requirements mentioned in these posts are critical, then go to the HSBC branch in Ortigas Centre, Makati. Remember also that rules can change here just like anywhere else.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Manila Cockney on January 14, 2008, 11:56:36 AM
There is no law here saying you need an ACR for a foreigner to open a peso account. Many banks do require an ACR as a matter of internal policy. If you are struggling to open an account get to speak to a bank manager and see if they will accept the passport as adequate identification. There is a law here that you must have identification and a passport is considered acceptable. The problem here with many employees they don\'t like to make a decision. 
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Dave_Hounddriver on January 16, 2008, 07:59:19 AM
\"A referral from an ex-pat customer didn\'t hurt either\"

I just opened a savings account at an HSBC branch yesterday.  I have been unable to get any money on my ATM card from Canada (probably because it is a regional bank . . Alberta Treasury Branch) so I talked to some ex-pats until I found someone who gave me the referral I needed.

A referral to the branch manager, from one of his good, expat customers, will open all the doors you need.  I opened a savings account with 500 Pesos in it and he treated me like a king.  He gave me all the info I would need to transfer money to his bank from Canada (via the US).  He also gave me all the info I could use in the future regarding the potential to put $20,000 US in his bank and get a retirement residency status (if I wanted to).  In addition he pointed out the advantages of having a US dollar account at his bank and having your funds held in US$ until you need them. That would requiire a US$200 minimum deposit.

I shall now transfer a little money by bank transfer and a little bit by Xoom to see which method works best.  I have had conflicting opinions offered to me on this.

Good Banking All

Dave
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Canuck on February 06, 2008, 09:19:34 PM
With respect to the original post, I don\'t know why anyone uses traveller\'s cheques any more, although having not yet been to the Philippines, I can\'t comment specifically on the situation there.  But in other countries, the commission charges to cash them are outrageous even in places like Panama where their offical currency is the US dollar, if you can even find some place to cash them at all.  I used to bring a few for emergency purposes but it seems quite pointless now.

Secondly, can anyone inform me if Philippine banks charge impact fees for ATM withdrawals on foreign banks and what generally is the maximum withdrawal amount.  Thanks
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on February 06, 2008, 09:42:35 PM
Secondly, can anyone inform me if Philippine banks charge impact fees for ATM withdrawals on foreign banks and what generally is the maximum withdrawal amount.  Thanks

Normally, you can withdraw P10,000 at a time & by putting your card in again continue up to your banks agreed daily limit. There has been some talk recently of some banks only allowing P5,000 per withdrawal but seems only a few of them at the moment.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Manila Cockney on February 06, 2008, 11:37:45 PM
Secondly, can anyone inform me if Philippine banks charge impact fees for ATM withdrawals on foreign banks and what generally is the maximum withdrawal amount.  Thanks

Normally, you can withdraw P10,000 at a time & by putting your card in again continue up to your banks agreed daily limit. There has been some talk recently of some banks only allowing P5,000 per withdrawal but seems only a few of them at the moment.

20,000 can be withdrawn out of BPI machine with a BPI card. However, they seem to be restricting other bank cards to 5000 pesos at a time. This happened to my local Citibank peso card in 3 machines  and also to a Barclays Connect Visa card for a visitor I have staying with me. Citibank ATM allows 30,000 withdrawal in one go when the machine has enough 1000s in it. I took out 15,000 with the The Barclays Connect at Citibank in one go, yesterday. Not sure if more would come out as only 15,000 was required.   
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on February 07, 2008, 05:21:02 AM
No problems using Dutch ABNAMRO debit card to withdraw P25,000 (my non-euro daily limit) at BPI (my preferred bank to use) had to do it as a P20,000 then P5,000 transaction (in November, in Cebu, Butuan & Tagbilaran).
Equitable restricted me to P5,000 per day TOTAL in Gingoog City

Is this something new?????

Guess I\'ll find out on Sunday.......yipeeee :D
Title: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: BoBHofmans on February 07, 2008, 09:20:05 PM
can anyone inform me if Philippine banks charge impact fees for ATM withdrawals on foreign banks and what generally is the maximum withdrawal amount.  Thanks

When you use a foreign-bank ATM card on a Philippine ATM machine, your bank will charge you, not the bank or organization to whom the ATM belongs.
Same goes for VISA. If you do online banking you can monitor your service charges the moment you get to a PC with an Internet connection. 
BTW, VISA is rather expensive, better use your ATM card as long as you have money in that acct.
Maximum amount on a BPI ATM is 20,000 pesos. Other ATMs might go as low as 4,500.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Rick on February 08, 2008, 02:13:20 AM
  I have passbook savings accounts both peso and dollar plus a time deposit (CD) at both
PNB and BPI. The most I have ever needed was 2 ID\'s and 2 photos. I withdraw and deposit
without problem.

Rick
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Steve & Myrlita on February 23, 2008, 07:22:19 PM
My wife & I opened a savings ATM Peso acct at BDO (Banco De Oro). They made us jump through fire hoops but it worked out ok. They do not charge for using my US ATM card nor does my US bank charge me so I get the full exchange rate offered. It took 2 months to get our personal ATM cards which cost P200. We had temp cards in the intrim. They did not require an ACR card but they did require 2 ID\'s from both of us. We had to go outside the bank and photocopy the ID\'s, get 2 passport photos each etc. They did not have any photocopier to help us like most banks in the US. The attitude in the US was we need you, welcome to our bank. Here in RP, it\'s we don\'t need you, you need us attitude. I almost walked out of the bank and not even opened an acct for all of the hassles but my wife wanted the acct there so we did it. Not the best bank I delt with but from what I hear, it\'s not any worse than the others.

Thanks...
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: on February 24, 2008, 10:58:29 AM
I have been with Equitable for over twelve years and have two direct deposit and opened the accounts with two hundred dollars each. The money is there on the afternoon of the first of the month and the charge is three dollars a month. I use a dollar ATM card and I can withdraw 50K a day. I moved to Cebu for a medical reason but kept my account in Leyte. I bought a car over here and I went to the bank and drew the money I needed with no problem.
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Manila Cockney on May 22, 2008, 03:41:33 PM
The Central Bank is now saying only one identification is required to open an account:

http://www.bsp.gov.ph/publications/media.asp?id=1817



MB Approves the Liberalization of the Rules on Acceptance of Valid IDs
 
05.20.2008


The Monetary Board (MB), the policy-making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), recently relaxed the rules on the acceptance of valid identification documents (IDs) for all types of financial transactions by banks and non-bank financial institutions under the supervision and regulation by the BSP.  Specifically, it has reduced to one, instead of at least two (2), the number of photo-bearing identification documents that clients, who engage in a financial transaction with the covered institutions for the first time, must present and submit. It has also expanded the coverage of the term “official authority” so as to include private entities or institutions registered with or supervised or regulated by the BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Insurance Commission (IC) as issuers of the acceptable IDs.  The new passport which is neither signed by the owner nor by the issuing authority remains acceptable, while the Integrated BAR of the Philippines (IBP) ID is added in the list of acceptable IDs.

Under BSP Circular No. 564 dated 3 April 2007, clients were required to present the original and submit a copy of at least two (2) valid IDs issued and signed by an “official authority”, the scope of which was limited to the Government and its instrumentalities.   

The relaxation of the rules on acceptance of valid IDs shall, however, be without prejudice to the existing rule on proper customer identification or the “Know-Your-Customer” (KYC) rule which requires covered institutions to establish and record the true identities of their clients.

The new policy of the MB is expected to promote access of Filipinos to services offered by the formal financial institutions, particularly those residing in the countryside as well as encourage and facilitate remittances of OFWs through the banking system.

LIST OF VALID IDs

Passport
Driver’s License
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) ID
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance
Police Clearance
Postal ID
Voter’s ID
Barangay Certification
Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) e-Card
Social Security System (SSS) Card
Senior Citizen Card
Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) ID
OFW ID
Seaman’s Book
Alien Certification of Registration/Immigrant Certificate of Registration
Government Office and GOCC ID, e.g. Armed forces of the Philippines (AFP ID), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF ID)
Certification from the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons (NCWDP)
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Certification
Integrated Bar of the Philippines ID
Company IDs issued by private entities or institutions registered with or supervised or regulated either by the BSP, SEC or IC. 

 
 
 
 
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: stillbilly2002 on June 12, 2008, 06:01:15 AM
thank you manila cockney,great post very informative billy
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: napamoore on June 16, 2008, 02:00:36 AM
I wanted to open an account in the PI now before I move there. There is a BPI remittenace center at the local Sea Food City store. I inquired there and they gave me the web address for BPI. I followed the on line instructions and they forwarded me an email with the forms I needed. (requires 2 passport size pics). I filled out the forms and took them and the pics to the local remittance office for verification of my signature etc. They then entered all the information into the computer, and sent the hard copy on to BPI in the PI. In about a week I had an account number and remitted a deposit to the account. Within an hour I received a text message saying the deposit had been received and was available for withdrawl. (the remittance fee is $7.00) I thought this was very cool and talked to my wife about using this method as a way of sending money to her family. She typically pays $12.00 to $16.00 to send money. All her family would need is their own BPI account. Her brother had one so we gave it a shot and it all went well. Again I received a text message in about an hour that the money had been received and her brother could withdraw. He also got a text message telling him the same thing.
I also have on line access to my account. This seems to have worked out OK for me and a nice side benefit of saving money when sending to relatives in PI.

Mike
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on June 16, 2008, 02:50:32 AM
I wanted to open an account in the PI now before I move there. There is a BPI remittenace center at the local Sea Food City store. I inquired there and they gave me the web address for BPI. I followed the on line instructions and they forwarded me an email with the forms I needed. (requires 2 passport size pics). I filled out the forms and took them and the pics to the local remittance office for verification of my signature etc. They then entered all the information into the computer, and sent the hard copy on to BPI in the PI. In about a week I had an account number and remitted a deposit to the account. Within an hour I received a text message saying the deposit had been received and was available for withdrawl. (the remittance fee is $7.00) I thought this was very cool and talked to my wife about using this method as a way of sending money to her family. She typically pays $12.00 to $16.00 to send money. All her family would need is their own BPI account. Her brother had one so we gave it a shot and it all went well. Again I received a text message in about an hour that the money had been received and her brother could withdraw. He also got a text message telling him the same thing.
I also have on line access to my account. This seems to have worked out OK for me and a nice side benefit of saving money when sending to relatives in PI.

Mike

Good deal.  I have one question though.  How much of a fee does BPI charge your brother in law?  We used to send regular wire transfers to the family when I first brought Gloria to the US.  My bank charged me $20.00 per transfer, then the family was charged an additional 10% by their bank on the withdrawal amount.  You might check into what fee BPI charges your family to withdraw from the account.  It might be a good idea for you to open a second account in your name and send the ATM card to the family to withdraw money.  That\'s the method I\'ve been using for some time now.  YMMV

 
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: napamoore on June 16, 2008, 03:28:28 AM
Good question Gray, I\'ll check with her brother to see if BPI charged him. I suspect though since it is from the BPI remittance center to a BPI account vs a US bank to a Philippine bank, there should be no charge.

Mike
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: napamoore on June 16, 2008, 11:20:57 AM
The charge at the bank was 10 pesos Gray. I think not a bad deal overall. $7.00 to send. Approximately 25 cents  to withdraw. Overall $7.25. At the moment I\'m really pleased with what I can do through BPI.
I hope I continue to be that pleased :-)

Mike
Title: Re: How Do You Open A Bank Account In The Philippines
Post by: Gray Wolf on June 17, 2008, 01:04:32 AM
The charge at the bank was 10 pesos Gray. I think not a bad deal overall. $7.00 to send. Approximately 25 cents  to withdraw. Overall $7.25. At the moment I\'m really pleased with what I can do through BPI.
I hope I continue to be that pleased :-)

Mike

Good Deal!   :)