Diminished bank patronage noted among savers

“Group savings similarly ramped up from only 1.1 percent to 4 percent and that those who have savings at home jumped from 29.5 percent to 32.7 percent.”

The percentage of Filipinos with savings substantially improved under the latest survey on financial inclusion released Wednesday by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. But these savers entrusted what they have not with the banks like they did in an earlier survey but brought their savings instead to so-called microfinance NGOs.

Microfinance NGO patronage by an increasingly financially literate population ramped up nearly four times over a two-year span, the BSP said.

Microfinance NGO accounts pertain to compulsory savings also known as capital build up usually required as a portion of a microfinance loan.

Under the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey (FIS) conducted by the central bank, those who saved and entrusted their savings to the various banks dropped by 9 percent. In the original FIS conducted in 2015, the banks enjoyed substantially higher patronage when their number grew by 14.1 percent.

This developed even as the percentage of Filipinos who chose to save also substantially ramped up from only 43 percent of the adult population in 2015 to 48 percent in 2017.

The central bank did not cite a reason for the falling incidence of savers wanting to entrust their precious savings with so-called microfinance NGO rather than with the banks although it is generally known that small scale savers often do not poses the relevant proof of identity and similar documents typically demanded by the various lending institutions.

Diminished patronage was also reported by deposit-taking cooperatives in the survey when this averaged only 3 percent in 2017 from 3.2 percent in 2015.

The same was reported by the various non-stock savings and loan associations or NSSLA where patronage similarly fell to only 0.30 percent from 0.35 percent.

Group savings similarly ramped up from only 1.1 percent to 4 percent and that those who have savings at home jumped from 29.5 percent to 32.7 percent.

As a result, formal savings, which are savings at the banks, NSSLA, cooperative and microfinance NGO, improved from only 17.5 percent in 2015 when the first FIS was conducted to 18.8 percent in the 2017 FIS.

These finding formed part of report on the results of the financial inclusion survey in which the number of adult Filipinos with formal accounts numbered 15.8 million more or less equal to 22.6 percent of the population.

The BSP said this was actually a modest improvement from only 22 percent reported in the 2015 FIS.

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