Top 10 Banks in the Philippines | Philippines Banking 101

In this article, we’re sharing the top 10 banks in the Philippines, which you can access immediately below.

That said, if you’re looking to open bank accounts in the Philippines, you may want to consider banking elsewhere instead.

In fact, whether you’re looking to open personal or business accounts, there are often better banking options available in other countries in the region.

These options range from opening a corporate bank account in Singapore to opening premier and private bank accounts with some of the best banks in the world.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.

Table of Contents

  1. Top 10 Banks in the Philippines
  2. Who Can Open Accounts With Banks in the Philippines?
  3. Can a Foreigner Open a Savings Bank Account in the Philippines?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions
  5. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Top 10 Banks in the Philippines

The top 10 banks in the Philippines (in order of size), are as follows.

  1. BDO Unibank Incorporated
  2. Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company
  3. Philippine National Bank
  4. Land Bank of the Philippines
  5. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation
  6. China Banking Corporation
  7. East West Banking Corporation
  8. Bank of the Philippine Islands
  9. Security Bank Corporation
  10. Asia United Bank Corporation

The foreign banks that operate in the Philippines with the largest presence include:

  1. HSBC
  2. Citibank

Last Updated: February 2, 2023. Sourced from the Philippines central bank (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas).

Understanding the Philippines Banking Sector

It’s important to note that the Philippines’ banking sector is made up of four different types of banks, which include universal banks, commercial banks, thrift banks, and rural and cooperative banks.

As mentioned, foreign banks are active in the Philippines and can be found in both the universal and commercial banking categories. In fact, institutions from most major banking jurisdictions are represented here, more than ten in total.

However, the specific services that each foreign bank offers can differ widely, and not all foreign banks are suitable for account opening, especially for foreigners and non-residents. In certain instances, the presence of foreign banks is limited to facilitating trade and commercial financing, which renders them useless for individual account openers.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the Philippines bank sector. Please note that both foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches are represented in the universal (6) and commercial bank (20) figures below.

  • Universal banks: 21
  • Commercial banks: 25
  • Thrift banks: 42

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Who Can Open Accounts With Banks in the Philippines?

Banking in the Philippines is considerably open compared to other countries in the region. With this in mind, it is possible for non-residents, foreigners, tourists, and (of course) residents of the Philippines to open accounts.

That said, foreign non-residents have limited options when it comes to account opening. For example, non-residents are not permitted to open a savings account in the local currency, the Philippine peso. Instead, they can open deposit accounts in foreign currency, such as USD.

Can a Foreigner Open a Savings Bank Account in the Philippines?

Yes, a foreigner can open a savings bank account in the Philippines. However, residency status does play into the type of accounts applicants can apply for. For instance, non-resident individuals can only apply for a deposit account. As for foreign nationals with residency in the Philippines they can apply for any account they like.

In most cases, foreigners that are moving to the Philippines consider opening with one of the foreign banks that operate in Manila. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of banks that offer this service, and if you do not already have an account with them in your home country they can be difficult to access.

With this in mind, if you are looking to open an account in the Philippines ahead of your arrival you can use one of our account opening solutions to navigate your options. If you have any questions about which service is best for you, please contact us via email or chat to discuss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking for the top 10 banks in the Philippines. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

What Is the No 1 bank in the Philippines?

The number one bank in the Philippines in terms of total assets and scale of operations is BDO Unibank Incorporated. Land Bank of the Philippines and Bank of the Philippine Islands round out the top three in second and third place respectively.

What Is the Safest Bank in the Philippines?

While certain banks in the Philippines are safe, the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) only covers depositors up to 500,000 Philippine Pesos, or roughly USD 9,000. With this in mind, while it may be convenient to have deposits in the Philippines, we typically suggest opening transactional accounts with one of the largest banks in the Philippines. Then, supplement your local transactional account with a suitable international bank account that matches your overall objectives.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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