Basic deposit accounts grew to 23.6 million at end-Sept.

BW FILE PHOTO

THE NUMBER of basic deposit accounts (BDAs) in the country jumped to 23.6 million as of end- September 2023, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Tuesday.

Data from the central bank released via a social media post on Tuesday showed that the number of BDAs nearly tripled (175%) from the 8.6 million accounts recorded as of the third quarter of 2022.

The total value of BDA deposits also surged by 624% to P35.6 billion at end-September 2023 from the P4.9 billion posted a year earlier.

The BDA was introduced in 2018 and is meant to promote financial inclusion and address the needs of the unbanked and underserved Filipinos.

This type of account has a low opening amount of P100 or less, no maintaining balance requirement, no dormancy charges, a maximum balance of P50,000, and requires only simple identification documents.

These accounts can also earn interest of up to 4% per annum in select banks.

In 2022, the BSP directed lenders to limit BDAs to one per depositor.

As of end-September, there were a total of 156 banks offering BDAs.

The central bank wanted to bring at least 70% of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by end-2023. Officials earlier said they were confident the target was met amid the rising adoption of e-wallets and online payments.

At end-2022, the share of Filipinos with bank accounts reached 65% of the adult population. — L.M.J.C. Jocson