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Dollar Bank Account Hell

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I was just talking to BPI and apparently I can open a BPI account in the US. I haven't had a chance to discuss all the terms with them yet as I had to go to another appointment. They did say it would be a US based account number, SWIFT code, ABA# etc. 


So that could be interesting way to transfer from US to Philippines. 


I opened a BPI Europe (UK - London) account and it has proved very efficient.  The record for moving money from my NatWest account in Sterling to my local BPI account in Pesos is four hours - it took 3 hours and 59 minutes for NatWest to transfer the Sterling to BPI, London and 1 minute for me to transfer from BPI, London to BPI, PH including the conversion.


The BPI conversion rates are usually competitive, not necessarily the best.  There is a standard, fixed fee of 5 GBP for the transfer and conversion.


Opening the BPI, London account was somewhat fraught.  Application forms are printable on-line.  The problem came when BPI, London wanted a BPI, PH bank statement endorsed to as proof of identity and address; this threw my local BPI branch into a tizz, they had no idea what to do.  In the end I had to write some words on the statement and ask that the bank manager signed and affixed the bank's chop.  Oh, that was another difficulty, no appropriate stamp.  In the end I seem to remember we used some receiving stamp or similar.  Anyway it was accepted by London and all's well that ends well.


Edit. Postscript.  Relying on HSBC's ATMs can be a problem.  Last night I wanted cash (and for reasons I won't go into, wanted to put it on my credit card).  So we drove into Alabang (30 minutes) to find that all six ATMs were 'temporarily out of order.'  No cash!  My wife said it was probably something to do with the long holiday weekend; it happens every time.  Yup, in about another ten years someone might work out why the ATMs run out of cash over a long weekend and do something about it.

Edited by GoHuk
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It's a land of thieves and liars - these rules exist for a reason.   When you remind yourself where you are it's not stupidity it's perfect sense.

Well it seems stupidity knows no bounds. I have lived in Cebu for 8 years and decided today to open a dollar bank account. This would allow dollar transfers from my USA bank account.  So my first stop

Salty,   I transfer money all the time from my USAA account to my wifes account at BDO.  Its an overseas wire, USAA charges me 35.00 no matter how much I send over.


I transfer US $ to my HSBC dollar account here for free...why spend $5, when you don't have to? 


I keep only about $50 in that $ account and am a wondering why have US$ in an account here?  Certainly, the bank

isn't paying interest. 


Philippine HSBC High Yield USD Savings account does pay interest. Not much, but it is interest bearing.

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I do believe the banking industry, at the local level at least, has been ravaged by the "brain drain" in this country and I really don't understand how some of these bankers with brains and common sense can tolerate working in many of these banks.  Then you have the situation where the banks are experiencing strong profits and don't seem to care what I or anyone else thinks of them.  Hopefully karma will rule in the long run.






Posted on November 03, 2013 10:09:47 PM


Banks’ profits surge 59.59% in H1


THE COMBINED profits of Philippine banks surged by more than half in the first semester, as non-interest income cushioned the blow of low interest rates on lending business.
  Banks’ net income rose by 59.59% to P98.8 billion in the first half from P61.909 billion posted in the same period last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data showed.

This translated to a 15.46% return on equity -- net income as a share of stockholders’ investment -- and a 1.99% return on assets, or net income against total assets.

Net interest income, which cover banks’ lending business, climbed by just 4.91% to P128.61 billion from P122.584 billion as low interest rate environment curbed gains on loans.

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