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Good bank for an expat in the Philippines?


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One thing to consider is opening the account at a branch bank close to where you live. It isn't fun to have to travel far to do banking which can't be done online.

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What law JGF about not opening accounts? I am sure this still depends on individual banks, I see many here on Tourist Visa with new Bank Accounts, the main Agenda seems to be ACR cards and proof of Ad

If you have a valid Passport and ACR iCard you are permitted to open an account - but the reality is it will vary from branch to branch. I've been living here since 1997 on a Tourist Visa - only

I have a UK HSBC account and opened a Philippines HSBC account on my tourist visa.  I can instantly send my Sterling from the UK to a Sterling account in the Philippines for free then watch the exchan

4 hours ago, Joey G said:

Never even heard of HSBC....  but doing minimal research... yeah, they are pretty big... also located in the USA... now wondering if opening accounts and doing transactions are easier with them in both places... thanks for lead Snowy79.

The HSBC are massive. Only the 7th largest bank in the World and certainly easy and professional to deal with.  You're pretty safe from them collapsing over night which is not too uncommon occurence in the Philippines the Max Bank being the latest collapse and one many of my friends banked with.

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On 5/11/2020 at 10:35 PM, Barrie J Dent said:

Good day everybody,

Just a short question to all you guys

What is a good bank for an expat,  I have   a current account and a dollar account in the EU!!! can I get the same  here as well in the Philippines???

 

Barrie J Dent

One point that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the banks here still run under an older style system where each bank manager has a say in how the bank runs so being with one bank may be great or impossible depending upon the manager. So one branch might say no, another branch might say yes. though from all accounts a Tourism visa is difficult now.

I chose my bank as I didn't qualify under exactly what was written, so I started asking if he'd accept alternatives, to which he ended up working with me until we satisfied the requirements so I opened an account with them - note this was just before the system changed here after the big Pakistani or Srui Lanka fraud that went through the banks here.

You might find opening a joint account easier to start?

BPI definitely allow you to keep multiple currency accounts.

Edited by AusExpat
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22 hours ago, AusExpat said:

One point that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the banks here still run under an older style system where each bank manager has a say in how the bank runs so being with one bank may be great or impossible depending upon the manager. So one branch might say no, another branch might say yes. though from all accounts a Tourism visa is difficult now.

I chose my bank as I didn't qualify under exactly what was written, so I started asking if he'd accept alternatives, to which he ended up working with me until we satisfied the requirements so I opened an account with them - note this was just before the system changed here after the big Pakistani or Srui Lanka fraud that went through the banks here.

You might find opening a joint account easier to start?

BPI definitely allow you to keep multiple currency accounts.

 I could never open a bank account here on a tourist visa but I've talked to others in this forum who have, I was turned down on numerous occasions even with a backpack full of US dollars( A couple thousand, less than 10). Now I could have gotten an account at a small, local Filipino bank where the Sari Sari store owners line up for hours to deposit their bags of 5 and 10 peso coins(I think one of them was called the royal bank of montalban), but no thanks!  If I had to recommend the easiest, Real, safe bank I would say the Union Bank EON account. Good luck to you!

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1 minute ago, Howard said:

 I could never open a bank account here on a tourist visa but I've talked to others in this forum who have, I was turned down on numerous occasions even with a backpack full of US dollars( A couple thousand, less than 10) But if I had to recommend the easiest, I would say the Union Bank EON account. Good luck to you!

When I first got here and decided to stay a while I had the same experience with Citibank ("The World's bank", lol) when I tried to join them in the main Makati branch, took out  US$2000 from their ATM in front of them then asked to apply for an account - it turns out having a US Citi account means nothing and the accounts cannot be linked in any way and basically a we don't want to know you attitude. To be honest the US citi account was way easier to open (with a Filipino account manager no less).

I ended up a few years later going to a local bank branch where I'd based myself for a few years and been a regular customer of the businesses in the same complex and they knew me and my girl had an account and found it very easy starting with a joint account. This was before the massive changes though.

Like all of the Philippines an introduction or them "knowing" you seems to help.

I also had an invite to open an account at another bank from the manager I used to see at the gym regularly.

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3 minutes ago, AusExpat said:

I also had an invite to open an account at another bank from the manager I used to see at the gym regularly.

 For me, it is all about Money,   (and have proof of it) that you have substantial cash to deposit, any Bank Manager ( with an ounce of sense)  will open an account for you. after all what is a banks' Business, MONEY!  :tiphat:

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2 hours ago, Jack Peterson said:

 For me, it is all about Money,   (and have proof of it) that you have substantial cash to deposit, any Bank Manager ( with an ounce of sense)  will open an account for you. after all what is a banks' Business, MONEY!  :tiphat:

Maybe but more so these days they follow the law about no accounts for tourist. I guess they take into account what the penalties are. 

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11 hours ago, Jollygoodfellow said:

Maybe but more so these days they follow the law about no accounts for tourist.

 What law JGF about not opening accounts? I am sure this still depends on individual banks, I see many here on Tourist Visa with new Bank Accounts, the main Agenda seems to be ACR cards and proof of Address :

 

 

The documents you'll likely need are:

Proof of your right to be in the Philippines - usually an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) Card. ...

Photo ID like your passport or national identity card.

Documents that prove your address. ...

Passport-sized photographs.

Minimum deposit (the amount varies from bank to bank).

 

I Find nothing My friend about a Stop by Law, If there is then let us have a link please so we can all know  

 

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/042415/expats-opening-bank-account-philippines.asp

 

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2 hours ago, Jack Peterson said:

 What law JGF about not opening accounts? I am sure this still depends on individual banks, I see many here on Tourist Visa with new Bank Accounts, the main Agenda seems to be ACR cards and proof of Address :

 

 

The documents you'll likely need are:

Proof of your right to be in the Philippines - usually an ACR (Alien Certificate of Registration) Card. ...

Photo ID like your passport or national identity card.

Documents that prove your address. ...

Passport-sized photographs.

Minimum deposit (the amount varies from bank to bank).

 

I Find nothing My friend about a Stop by Law, If there is then let us have a link please so we can all know  

 

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/042415/expats-opening-bank-account-philippines.asp

 

Certainly when I opened accounts at both BPI and Metrobank they were only interested in my ACR card rather than my visa type.  That said, they had my passport and the 13a visa was there so maybe the question never arose.  It was no more difficult to open an account here than in Hong Kong I'd say. 

I'm not so sure an introduction is needed - It's my opinion that this is a throwback to different times and people here love to be viewed as valuable and important so perpetuate the myth.  My estate agent was one of those - she was always insisting we needed to have contacts at BI/BIR/Bank etc etc to get anything done - nonsense! 

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6 hours ago, Jack Peterson said:

What law JGF about not opening accounts? I am sure this still depends on individual banks, I see many here on Tourist Visa with new Bank Accounts, the main Agenda seems to be ACR cards and proof of Address :

We are talking about opening on a tourist visa. . Permanent residents can open an account easily. ARC is different for permanents. Some banks will allow tourist to open accounts  but some wont, I know and so do others as you would have read it's not easy these days to open on a tourist visa just like when I tried, yes fine but when they seen I was on a  tourist visa then sorry sir even though i was here for 3 years with a tourist ARC and lease contract.

5 hours ago, hk blues said:

That said, they had my passport and the 13a visa was there so maybe the question never arose.

Exactly because a 13a is resident or permanent.

I know people just like other posters who manage on a tourist visa to open accounts and it depends on what the bank thinks the regulations are. I seen a member here opened at PS bank so I tried but no, we said I know someone in Dumaguete who opened with PS bank and their answer was something like maybe before new regulations or something like that.

 

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