The Philippines has announced it will lift a 17-year ban on bank licenses in an attempt to lure outside investors. The economy was also recently opened to foreigners.
The process is in two phases: the first allows existing banks to apply for a license to convert into a universal or commercial bank and will also until 2017. The second will lift all restrictions on new licenses at the beginning of 2018.
"This initiative provides local businesses the avenue to explore opportunities in the banking sector amid the opening of the industry to foreign capital infusion,” said Central Bank Governor Amando Tetangco.
The ban dates back to 1999 when the country sought bigger lenders and encourage mergers and consolidation.
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