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Davaoeno

Which is the best bank to deal with in the Philippines?

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delancey

Philippines banking is behind decade (s) it is just a matter of degrees when comparing banks. The culture here seems to deliberately make most endeavors more time consuming and less consumer friendly. Fraud and liability protection is at the will of the bank and the burden is on you during whatever arbitrary process they use to assist you. My solution is to limit exposure by only keeping a small amount here.

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ricardo123#

I use Philippine National Bank. (PNB). I have both my NYS pension and my SS direct deposited into a dollar savings acct. and I have a peso acct w/ atm that when the rate is high I put some money into. They have always been helpful but banking here is a different kettle of fish than in the USA.

I can withdraw from a branch other than the initial branch for a fee. If I move to a different province I can transfer my acct to the closest branch there. My direct deposit is actually going to the PNB branch in NYC where I opened my acct. The branch here is my "designated" home branch.

PNB handles almost all of the Philippine Govt. pensions, police, and so on.

Edited by ricardo123#

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sugbu777

I use Philippine National Bank. (PNB). I have both my NYS pension and my SS direct deposited into a dollar savings acct. and I have a peso acct w/ atm that when the rate is high I put some money into. They have always been helpful but banking here is a different kettle of fish than in the USA.

I can withdraw from a branch other than the initial branch for a fee. If I move to a different province I can transfer my acct to the closest branch there. My direct deposit is actually going to the PNB branch in NYC where I opened my acct. The branch here is my "designated" home branch.

PNB handles almost all of the Philippine Govt. pensions, police, and so on.

PNB works the same way here at their branch in Guam. I can get direct deposit to them in the Guam branch and the designated branch we choose in the Philippines would be the home branch. Still debating opening an account with them. They gave me a whole pile of FATCA documents to fill out, which I kind of questioned as they are using a US ABA nr. The only answer I could get from the manager in the Guam branch is that is the way it is done.

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arentol

I think the selection of a bank depends on a customer's specific needs.

 

If your needs are fairly straightforward (e.g., PHP/USD account, ATM card), then I think BPI is a good choice. Lots of branches, advanced loan department, online access, intra-branch appointments, and overall accessibility. We went through the mortgage process with BPI and the experience was very smooth, though it took quite a long time for finalization because they were dealing with governmental agencies.

 

If your needs are more international (e.g., multiple accounts in different currencies, capability to easily transfer accounts to other countries), then I think HSBC is a good choice. Although there's only one branch here in Cebu, ATM withdrawals are free, online transfers are more secure, you have a relationship manager, and online access is fairly advanced. In-branch banking also follows Western standards... no need for tons of signatures and limitations based on branch location.

 

For me, my line of work involves EUR, USD, PHP, AUS, CAD, GBP, etc. So HSBC is my hands-down choice, but I think it's really based on individual requirements.

 

 

Aren

Edited by arentol
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Rocketman

Been with Citibank for 4 years in the Philippines and more in the U.S.  No fee ATM in the Philippines and throughout the world.  Easy, instant and free transfers and a great experience in the Cebu branch for Citigold clients.

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Jawny

I wish someone could explain this whole "home branch" business that BPI and BDO are always on about. I should be able to walk into any branch and conduct business. If we want to transfer money between checking and savings accounts, we get to sit at the bank and wait for permission (via email) from our "home branch". 

I can't offer an explanation as to why the banks here seem to operate like franchises. I have learned to live with the inconvenience which is nil. I make despots and withdrawals exclusively at my home branch. It is also true with Metrobank, where I bank.

 

Using a home branch exclusively has some benefit since the bank tellers and management get to know their clients and will extend courtesies in a "neighborly" fashion.

 

If you feel that is an important feature to conduct business at branches, then you might want to use one of the banks members report that allow business to be conducted at branches.

 

The only work around I use is to have an ATM account which allows cash withdrawals at remote branches. However, I use the ATM only at a branch of Metrobank, not any other. If there is an error with some ATM machine owned and operated by another bank, then the process is not easy to correct (my experience).

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NOSOCALPINOY

I concur… BPI's “semi-automated teller” system is great! You just key in what you like to do then wait for the human teller and presto! You are done. However, I also use China Bank, a BDO sub, that is small enough to provide me with their “personal banking” service in that I just walked in to an office, sit down and do with any transactions – sometimes a cup of coffee or a bottle of water served… :D

Most BPI have a senior citizen line. I don't need any Corporate/VIP/Preferred Client Card! Without waiting for my number to be called, I just go to the head of the line, give the teller my number slip, do my business transaction and I'm out of there in no time.

Sorry, no cup of coffee though and no doughnuts. :unknw:    

Edited by NOSOCALPINOY

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Nangulo

I opened an account at the Bank of Commerce at Fuente.  The folks are very helpful there.  Moved to Surigao City.  Went to Butuan and stopped at the Bank of Commerce there to make a withdrawal..  No questions about "home" branch, no fee for using a different branch; they just gave me my money and smiled.  "Thank you, come again."

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NOSOCALPINOY

On another note, I have yet to find any bank that will do domestic/international bank to bank money wire transfers for free!

Also bank to bank wire money transfer from my U.S. bank charges $45 per transaction and debit/credit card use they charge $5 per transaction plus 1% per transaction fee from ATM use in the Philippines.  

International ATM debit/credit card withdrawals in the Philippines can get expensive withdrawing P100,000 or more from one's U.S. debit card and cash advance from one's credit card! That's why most often I will just write out our U.S. personal check for deposit into our BPI USD account and there's no fee involved for USD check deposits. The only drawback is the 25 days for our checks to clear and post into our BPI USD savings account.  

Direct deposit of my U.S. government pensions here into my local RP bank account? No thank you!

Been there and did that long time ago. The banks here for U.S. direct deposits will only provide a passbook type for a USD account with no ATM and no internet access, which is reason enough for anyone to decline this type of an account, unless it's a last resort for those who do not have bank accounts or residency in their home country!

Edited by NOSOCALPINOY
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RogerDuMond

 

 

On another note, I have yet to find any bank that will do domestic/international bank to bank money wire transfers for free! Also bank to bank wire money transfer from my U.S. bank charges $45 per transaction and debit/credit card use they charge $5 per transaction plus 1% from ATM use in the Philippines.

 

With a premier account at HSBC you can transfer dollars from your foreign HSBC account to your Philippine HSBC account at no charge then convert it to pesos and transfer it into a HSBC peso account at the same bank. You can do this all from your computer or smart phone at no charge and the transfers are immediate. There are no fees for using an ATM card from HSBC.

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NOSOCALPINOY

With a premier account at HSBC you can transfer dollars from your foreign HSBC account to your Philippine HSBC account at no charge then convert it to pesos and transfer it into a HSBC peso account at the same bank. You can do this all from your computer or smart phone at no charge and the transfers are immediate. There are no fees for using an ATM card from HSBC.

Doesn't a Premier Account at HSBC, one needs a deposit of at least P4,000,000 in the account?

Not too many retirees in the Philippines have that kind of cash sitting around in one bank.

 

https://www.hsbc.com.ph/1/2/hsbc-premier/get-in-touch

Enrollment requirements

You qualify for HSBC Premier in the Philippines, if you maintain a minimum Total Relationship Balance (TRB) of PHP4,000,000, or its foreign currency equivalent. Your TRB would include your deposits and investments.

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Davaoeno

a basic HSBC account only needs 100,000 deposit .  [ fees for falling below the minimum amount were 1500 a month last time i checked ]

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Nangulo

You can pay $50/month to be an HSBC premier client.  You can be a premier client in the US for $100,000.00 in total deposits or $250,000 in a combination of loans (house, car, etc.,.) and deposits.  Once a premier client, it carries over to all countries in which HSBC does business.  I keep less than $5,000 in Philippine banks at any given time but, as RogerDuMond wrote, I can do all of my banking/transferring from any computer or my smart phone and both my US premier ATM card and local Philippine ATM card are free of ATM fees.

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NOSOCALPINOY

Here's the Basic Account with HSBC from the UK, key product: http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/current-accounts/basic-bank-account/details

Their withdrawal per day limit is low and service charges per transaction is high, but I do not know if they charge a fee for bank to bank money wire transfers. 

Cash withdrawals

With this account you will be given a Visa Debit Card. Use your Debit Card to withdraw money from any ATM in the UK1 - up to £300 a day. Get up to £100 cashback at outlets nationwide when you pay with your Debit Card. You can also use your Debit Card to withdraw local currency at cash machines worldwide and pay for goods and services worldwide wherever you see the VISA logo. A non-Sterling transaction fee of 2.75% of the exchange rate will apply on conversion, plus an ATM transaction fee - currently 2% (minimum £1.75, maximum £5.00).2 Before you travel, please tell us you will be using your cards abroad using Internet Banking and ensure we hold your up to date contact details, including a mobile telephone number if available.

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nomad4ever

At which other Philippines banks atm can you withdraw without a fee with the local HSBC card? I have an international one, but they always charge me 200 Pesos everywhere... And Ayala is sometimes far when I need money. Was thinking to open a local HSBC account.... Thanks!

Edited by nomad4ever
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