Philippines joins 'elite' cross-border banking data reporting

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will soon be part of an "elite" group of economies that report cross-border banking statistics to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) as part of a global database.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced on Sunday, January 14, that its cross-border banking data has met the rigorous BIS standards for completeness and quality, after months of testing and validation.

The central bank said BIS general manager Agustin Carstens informed BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr that the BIS will formally add the Philippines as a reporting country for locational international banking statistics (IBS).

"The BIS will start including Philippine data in the global aggregates" starting January, Carstens was quoted as saying in the statement.

The BIS is a Switzerland-based financial organization owned by 60 member central banks, representing economies that combined make up about 95% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).

Carstens said "the participation of the Philippines in the BIS is a significant milestone [because] it confirms the international importance of the Philippine banking system."

On the part of the BSP, Espenilla said, "Our inclusion into the elite group provides us with more granular cross-border banking data that would be very critical in formulating well-informed policies when and how they may be needed."

"The value to regulators of having such a view cannot be overemphasized in today's market," the central bank governor said.

Espenilla added that "the benefits accrue the other way as well because our ability to provide high-quality data can only enhance the transparency of global transactions and funding flows."

Highlighting the central bank's longstanding direction, he said that "the BSP has been working diligently on instilling high-quality banking data and our inclusion as a BIS-reporting jurisdiction validates our efforts in meeting the international standards." 

The Philippine economy is expected to grow by 7% to 7.5% in 2018, fueled by heightened private capital spending, rising government infrastructure spending, a rebound in exports, a revival in manufacturing, stable remittances from overseas Filipinos, and a tourism boom.

The Philippines' GDP grew faster than expected by 6.9% in the 3rd quarter of 2017, the fastest in 4 quarters. – Rappler.com