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BSP readies regular poll on bankers’ outlooks

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THE BANGKO SENTRAL ng Pilipinas (BSP) will conduct a regular poll to get bank executives’ outlook on economic growth and business prospects.

In a statement, the central bank said the Monetary Board has approved the conduct of the Banking Sector Outlook Survey (BSOS) among bank presidents and chief executive officers.

“The survey is part of the surveillance toolkit of the BSP to promote the sustained resilience of the banking system,” the central bank said on Wednesday.

The BSP will start with the bank survey in June that will cover the heads of universal, commercial and thrift banks.

Heads of foreign banks operating in the Philippines will be included, as well as the chiefs of the 20 biggest rural banks in terms of total loan portfolio.

The BSOS will monitor sentiments of bank presidents “related to their growth outlook and risk assessments, business performance strategies, and insights on regulation and supervision,” the central bank said.

The planned survey will expand to cover all local lenders, with responses to be collected bi-annually in succeeding years.

“The BSOS will capture forward-looking information consistent with BSP’s proactive approach to banking supervision,” the central bank explained.

“The survey will also inform additional perspectives on the evolution of banks’ business models that can help enhance prudential regulations.”

The regulator has been in constant communication with banks and other financial firms in crafting policies and in collecting industry data.

Bank officials are regularly tapped for the quarterly Senior Loan Officers’ Survey which the BSP conducts in order to track lending standards.

Bank economists also submit their inflation forecasts to the central bank on a regular basis.

In a related development, the inter-agency Financial Stability Coordination Council (FSCC) said its latest systemic risk review showed that the Philippines continues to enjoy “strong economic performance on several fronts,” led by stronger consumer and government spending.

Rising global interest rates, changes in the foreign exchange market, as well as availability of funding for the government’s infrastructure program are also being monitored by these government agencies.

BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. chairs the FSCC, which is composed of top officials of the Department of Finance, Insurance Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp., the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bureau of the Treasury.

The government is targeting a 7-8% gross domestic product growth annually until 2022, when President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends his six-year term, with the infrastructure spending push to be funded by a mix of state revenues and borrowings from both domestic and foreign sources. — Melissa Luz T. Lopez





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