June 10, 2014

Senate approves bill liberalizing entry of foreign banks

News portal interaksyon.com today reported that the Senate has approved on final reading its version of a bill that aims to liberalize the entry and scope of operations of foreign banks in the country. This comes after the approval by the Lower House of its version on second reading.

Our take: This brings the bill closer to enactment. After hurdling second reading approval, the House version should sail smoothly towards final approval as the latter usually entails just revisions for style and language. Both houses of Congress will then form a bicameral committee to reconcile the two versions into a final bill which will then be ratified by the House and Senate.

This will then be sent to the President who will sign the bill into law. As we previously wrote in an Industry Update on 9 May, we view positively the passage of the bill into law as this could spur another wave of mergers and acquisitions. This should also promote better competition that will eventually lead to a stronger and more efficient banking system. – WealthSec