Jul 082013

MANILA, Philippines – Banks are no longer allowed to shut down operations during local holidays without prior notice to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), a new order said.

Under Circular 802 signed June 21, the central bank has ordered lenders and their extension offices to notify the central bank two days before their closure in the observance of a local holiday within their area.

The order, which will take effect 15 days from yesterday’s release, asked banks and their branches to “submit, either individually or through their head offices” a “prior notice of their intended closure” to the BSP Supervisory Data Center.

The circular covered all banks, their branches and “other banking offices.” BSP officials could not be reached for comment on the new circular.

Prior to this amendment to the Manual Regulations of Banks, lending institutions were only tasked to have their closure during local holidays approved by the banking association where they belong.

Meanwhile, during national holidays declared by presidential proclamations, no prior notice is required for bank closures.

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“The required notice (for local holiday closures)…shall be supported by a certification jointly signed by the president of the bank or officer of equivalent position and the head of the branches department,” the central bank explained.

The notice and reason of a bank’s closure should be posted on the banks’ establishment to inform depositors and other banking clients.

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