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Philippines central bank presses Congress to amend bank secrecy law

The Philippine central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), is pressing Congress to approve at least five priority reform bills before they go on a break on 4 February for the upcoming election campaign. On top of the proposed measures is the amendment of the bank secrecy law. The BSP supports the Bank Deposits Secrecy bill, saying this would equip it with necessary tools to prove fraud, and identify irregularities, and unlawful activity. BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the central bank’s legislative agenda aims to strengthen the banking system, foster financial inclusion, enhance the delivery of and address social issues related to access to financial products and services, and support economic growth. The House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries in February 2021 approved House Bill (HB) 8991, which amends Republic Act No. 1405 or the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Law, while there are five versions of the bill in the Senate.

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