Philippines corporate bank account in 2023
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC helps multinational Clients open multicurrency corporate bank accounts in Philippines for local companies. In our experience, Philippines banks do not board companies that are not incorporated in Philippines.
Without bank signatory travel, our team will project manage the multicurrency corporate bank account opening process, including preparing a quality business plan for our Client’s business.
We recommend our multinational Clients read this web page to avoid bank surprises later!
Table of Philippines banking problems and solutions
No. Philippines banking problem Healy Consultants Group PLC’s solution 1. Philippines banks are particular about the customers they onboard. Top-tier banks increasingly focus on large, profitable, low-risk corporate Clients. Generally, Philippines banks are neither interested in small companies nor companies incorporated outside Philippines.
Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has built quality banking relationships with Philippines banks. Local banks trust and welcome our multinational Clients. A quality business plan is a big help.
Healy Consultants Group PLC has a guaranteed corporate bank account approval policy.
2. Global banks continue to tighten corporate bank account opening procedures, their internal compliance departments completing more thorough due diligence of Clients. Consequently, our Clients should expect Philippines bank account approval to take up to three months. If our Client requires a bank account at short notice, we recommend an immediate Philippines solution (Philippines company plus already-approved Philippines corporate bank account). 3. Before, during and after bank meetings, the bank’s In-house Legal and Compliance Department reverts multiple times for additional documentation and information from each i) bank signatory / director / UBOs of the companies as well as ii) our Client’s business and transactions. If some banks decline to board our Client’s business, Healy Consultants Group PLC will immediately inform our Client and action backup banking solutions. 4. Bank requests foreign directors and bank signatories to travel for a one-hour interview before account numbers are issued. Healy Consultants Group PLC will relentlessly negotiate with the bank to secure a travel waiver.
The Philippines banking sector
Healy Consultants Group PLC’s summary view
- Philippines is a business-friendly, but it does not have a reputable nor stable economy. It does have business-friendly policies. According to the World Bank, Philippines is ranked as 95th on ease of doing business.
- The health of Philippines’ economy previously depends on agriculture and has recently made a transition to services and manufacturing. Philippines’s market is at US$361.5 billion.
- Philippines entered its first recession in two decades in 2020. Though the government is supporting businesses, more local entities are going bankrupt, and loan defaults will cause some local banks to seek government assistance.
- The Philippine Central Bank (BSP) maintains the value of the PHP dollar.
- In Feb 2022, Fitch downgraded Philippines’ sovereign credit rating to BBB- with a negative outlook.
- Because banks are looking to cut costs, we expect many branches of traditional ‘high street’ banks to close across Philippines and for more services to be transferred online.
- Digital banks are licensed to operate in Philippines since late 2020. These ‘virtual banks’ are an excellent alternative to conventional banks with a similar range of services accessed via an app and lower account service fees. In late 2021, there are six new digital banks that surfaced.
- The Philippines imposes no restrictions on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittances of profits, payments to third parties, capital gains, debt service and imported inputs or returns on intellectual property.
- Overall, Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends Philippines banks as a solution for local companies doing business globally.
Key information on the Philippines banking sector
- To support the Philippines company formation, Healy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Clients with accessing a full range of tailored Philippines corporate banking facilities comprising of i) single and multiple currency accounts ii) telephone banking iii) internet banking iv) savings and checking accounts v) debit and credit cards and vi) wealth management services.
- The major local banks in Philippines include Union bank, Banco de Oro (BDO) Unibank, Metropolitan Bank and Trust, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Development Bank of the Philippines and Asia United Bank. Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends our Clients to work with domestic banks especially if the company plans to deal exclusively with local Clients and suppliers.
- For Clients with both Filipino and international operations, Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends opening a Philippines corporate bank account with an established international bank offering better banking services including reliable internet banking and multicurrency accounts. Foreign international banks in Philippines include HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citibank, ANZ and JPMorgan Chase & Co. A complete list of banks operating in the country can be found on the Central Bank (Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas) website.
- Our relationship with these banks simplifies the process of opening new accounts as your business grows in the Philippines and worldwide.
- Generally, local banks will require an initial minimum deposit of at least PHP 104,000 (US$2,000) which must be deposited into the corporate bank account within one week of approval. International banks, however, may require an initial deposit and minimum monthly balance of PHP 384,000 (US$10,000). It is advisable to maintain this minimum amount to avoid average monthly service charges of PHP 960 (US$25).
- The BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Insurance Commission (IC) regulates and supervises the banks in the Philippines.
- Many Philippines banks are welcoming to onboard small businesses as BSP released a finance framework earlier in 2021.
- According to The Straits Times, Philippines has a reputation for being a corrupt country and is considered a ‘medium’ risk for money laundering.
- As well as PHP dollar accounts, local banks offer multicurrency corporate bank accounts in US$, euros, NZ$, sterling and Asian currencies. Banks offer corporate credit and debit cards, cheque books, loans and wealth management products. If you open a foreign currency account along with a PHP dollar account, transfers can easily be made between the two.
- On average, Philippines banks take two months to issue account numbers and e-banking access.
- In our experience, Philippines banks do not board companies that are not incorporated in Philippines.
- Philippines is slowly becoming a cashless country. Some 50 million Filipinos are utilising GCash for cashless transactions.
- Not all Philippines bank branch staff speak English nor are correspondence and online banking etc all is in English.
- In 2021, Philippines banks pay up to 0.025% interest on US dollar fixed term deposits.
- Philippines is not a signatory to the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), a global initiative to clamp down on tax evasion. As a result, banks operating in Philippines does not share information on accounts and account holders with tax authorities where the company/individual is tax-resident.
- It is important that our Clients are aware of their corporate and legal obligations in Philippines and that they timely fulfil the same. Let us know if you require Healy Consultants Group PLC’s assistance to timely and efficiently complete your legal and corporate responsibilities.
- Philippines banks can provide financing to Philippine registered companies on a case-by-case basis. To support quality application, Healy Consultants Group PLC advises our Client to prepare: i) a detailed business plan ii) proof of business globally iii) proof of experience of business owners iv) last three years audited financial statements and v) realistic feasibility study.
- Healy Consultants Group PLC can assist our Clients secure a specific loan, overdraft or simply preferential credit terms during the engagement, thanks to our established relationship with Philippines banks.
Philippines corporate bank account opening procedure for local companies
- To assist our Client access Philippines business banking services, Healy Consultants Group PLC can open an international bank account or a local corporate bank account within four weeks of completing Philippines business setup. View the detailed guide of the corporate bank account opening process.
- The due diligence documents required for opening a company bank account in Philippines include, but are not limited to i) the Articles of Association and By-Laws in English or a certified translation of the same ii) the SEC certificate of registration iii) notarised board resolution with names of signatories authorized to open and operate the corporate bank account(s) iv) a general banking Power of Attorney from the board of directors (optional) and v) proof of listed status on the stock exchange (if applicable).
- There is a significant probability that the Client will be obliged to travel to Philippines to personally meet the bank officer(s) before the corporate account is approved. However, Healy Consultants Group PLC, will negotiate with the banks to waive this request. Read the detailed information regarding steps following corporate bank account application.
- After approval of the company bank accounts, the preferred bank will directly send our Client a courier with the complete banking kit, which often includes including i) corporate bank account details, ii) internet banking password and token and iii) initial correspondence.
- For our Clients forming a new company in Philippines, Healy Consultants Group PLC can assist in opening an international corporate bank account within 2 months of company formation.
- We recommend keeping the corporate structure simple at the time of company incorporation by appointing our Client’s preferred individual shareholder(s) and director(s) and bank signatories. We do not recommend a corporate entity, nominee, trust or tax haven holding company.
- It is difficult to obtain Philippines corporate bank account approval through newly-formed companies when shareholders, directors and bank signatories reside overseas. Depending on the nationality of the UBO, shareholders, bank signatories, and directors and the nature and value of the business assets and transactions, it is wise to expect that i) corporate bank account approvals will take an average of three months from the date of company registration and receipt of all KYC documentation and ii) multiple banks will request the directors AND bank signatories travel for a one hour interview with the bank officer, before bank account opening.
- Following review of the application and before approving the corporate bank account, the bank will request our Client to courier all original corporate and personal due diligence and other supporting documents directly to Philippines. These include i) a notary-certified true copy of your Company Registration Certificate ii) Memorandum & Articles of Association/Charter disclosing the directors/shareholders iii) certified true copy of passport for all shareholders/directors and account signatories iv) certified passport size photographs v) original certified copy of proof of address vi) board resolution appointing the bank signatories vii) a letter requesting for opening of the corporate bank account and viii) completed, preapproved, and signed bank account opening forms.
- During the corporate bank account opening process, it is common for each bank’s in-house Legal and Compliance Department to request additional due diligence documents from potential customers including but not limited to i) regulatory licences ii) proof of business globally and in home country including evidence of contracts, invoices and agreements with local Clients and iii) additional KYC information on our Client’s business and place of residency, including nature and volume of transactions.
- If some banks decline to board our Client’s business, Healy Consultants Group PLC will immediately inform our Client and action backup banking solutions.
- Following bank account approval, the bank will email our Client the corporate bank account numbers directly. There is no need for our Client to travel to complete the process.
Healy Consultants Group PLC fees to help open a corporate bank account in PhilippinesOur fees for different banking services include:
Philippines banking task Our Client travels US$ Philippines bank account for a Philippines company No 4,950 Philippines personal bank account No 4,950
Our multicurrency corporate bank account opening fees cover the following support services:
- Preparing a quality business plan for our Client’s review then use the same to maximise the probability of successful multicurrency corporate bank account approval with our Client’s preferred bank.
- Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Banking Team completing, on our Client’s behalf, the multicurrency corporate bank account application forms and collating Know Your Customer (KYC) due diligence documents.
- Healy Consultants Group PLC’s Banking Team visiting the Philippines bank to submit i) required due diligence and ii) signing all required paperwork.
- Over the following weeks, the bank officer reverting to Healy Consultants Group PLC multiple times to prepare an accurate, complete multicurrency corporate bank account opening file. When the Philippines bank officer is ready, our Client will convene a Skype video call with the bank.
- Following successful completion of the above, the bank officer submitting a complete potential customer file to the bank Legal and Compliance Department.
- After several weeks, we will e-mail multicurrency corporate bank account numbers to our Client.
- Within three weeks, arranging our Client to receive e-banking log-in details including corporate Visa debit cards and cheque books.
- Our firm will assist our Clients with selecting the Philippines business banking solution the most fit to our Client’s business. Most of our foreign Clients like to open a corporate bank account at a globally recognized institution such as HSBC or Citibank. However, our Clients running a business mostly aimed at local consumers and/or outside of Manilla and other big Philippines cities will often prefer to go with a local option for corporate banking in Philippines.
Other servicesIf required, Healy Consultants Group PLC will assist our Clients with lending and trade finance applications by preparing a quality application consisting of i) a feasibility plan ii) project strength and weaknesses analysis (SWOT) and iii) audited financial statements.
ConclusionPhilippines multicurrency corporate bank account opening is easy if you know how. Contact Healy Consultants Group PLC if your firm needs assistance navigating through the different banking solutions.