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The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) has expressed its support for rural banks towards strengthening their resilience which will bolster depositor confidence and boost financial stability.

Addressing member-rural banks of the Confederation of Central Luzon Rural Bankers (CCLRB) during its recent Annual Management Conference in Baguio City, PDIC General Counsel Atty. Maria Antonette Brillantes-Bolivar, shared the state deposit insurer’s support to rural banks to become resilient in navigating the dynamic landscape of the banking industry.

STRENGTHENING RURAL BANKS’ RESILIENCE. Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) General Counsel Maria Antonette Brillantes-Bolivar shares how the PDIC continues to create opportunities and develop initiatives to further strengthen the resilience of rural banks in the face of challenges in the banking landscape. Atty. Bolivar was a resource person during the recent Annual Management Conference of the Confederation of Central Luzon Rural Banks held in Baguio City.

The PDIC is focused on enhancing depositor protection mechanisms to instill greater confidence in banks. One of its priorities is the review and possible adjustment of the current deposit insurance coverage to benefit more depositors.

Other measures will also be implemented to help safeguard depositors’ savings, ensuring they are adequately protected against any unforeseen risks or disruptions in the banking system. By reinforcing depositor protection, the government aims to reassure the public and strengthen trust in the banking sector.

“The depositor protection provided by PDIC assures bank depositors that their money in banks is insured up to the coverage limit. The increase in coverage will bolster our shared goal of promoting saving in banks, and in building confidence in the banking system and thus, create opportunities and build resilience for our banks”, Atty. Bolivar explained.

Recognizing the challenges faced by rural banks in maintaining resilience in the face of evolving financial landscapes, the PDIC is also exploring ways to provide support and assistance, including targeted interventions, to help rural banks adapt to changing market conditions through capacity-building initiatives and digital transformation projects.

In late 2024, the Corporation will initiate a case study-based capacity-building program sharing essential lessons on deposit record-keeping and operations derived from bank examinations it has conducted.

The PDIC will also introduce during the year a secure online reporting system to make reporting and submission of financial data easier and more efficient for insured banks.

In the pipeline for 2025 is the integration of this system into PDIC’s Assessment and RI Monitoring System for seamless reporting and additional online payment options for assessments.

To this end, the PDIC recently forged an agreement with the BSP on information exchange meant to eliminate redundancy and duplications; and minimize regulatory burdens from banks in submitting reports to the regulators. Under the MOA, the PDIC and the BSP agreed, under set guidelines and procedures, to allow the sharing and exchange of bank reports and certain other reports, data, and information made to and by each party, mindful of existing laws and regulations on data privacy and confidentiality of information.

Previously, the PDIC issued a Regulatory Issuance that revised the rules and regulations on banks’ record-keeping effectively removing the required submission to the PDIC of the Financial Reporting Package and the Capital Adequacy Ratio Report, which are likewise required by the BSP.

The Corporation also aims to further reduce the regulatory burden of member banks, particularly during bank examinations. In the pipeline for 2024 is the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the BSP for conducting joint bank examinations for regulatory efficiency.

Additionally, efforts are underway to explore how the PDIC can further contribute to financial stability.

This involves identifying areas where the PDIC can leverage outreach and educational campaigns to equip every Filipino with the knowledge and skills for sound personal finance management.

Atty. Bolivar shared that the PDIC mounted in 2023 a follow-through implementation of its award-winning “Maniguro, Magbangko, Umasenso” multimedia public awareness campaign to promote financial advancement to secure one’s future by way of saving in banks. The campaign also promoted the ease of opening a bank account through the Basic Deposit Account to support the Government’s thrust for financial inclusion.

To be launched this year is the PDIC’s “Be an Empowered Saver Handbook” or BESH, an undertaking that encapsulates the Rights of Depositors in a practical guidebook. BESH will be the quintessential guide for any bank saver on his or her rights as a depositor.

The Handbook enumerates the Rights of a Depositor throughout the lifecycle of saving and growing your money in banks, from the moment you open a bank account, while maintaining the deposit account, or even in the unlikely event that the bank will close.

In closing, Atty. Bolivar reiterated the goal of the PDIC to deepen its engagements with rural banks and to embark on programs and initiatives to assist them in attaining greater bank resilience for financial stability.