Monday, July 02, 2012

Warning: A Hurting Banking System

This is in no way meant to sow intrigue in the world of local banking, much less to cause distrust among Filipinos dealing with this and/or that bank in the Country. This is but to call attention to the recent bad news that some 41 banks closed within the past 18 months – which notice can be verified. This is not to mention the fact that these and those banks are now being bought by other banks. Although the situation may be neither that disturbing nor desperate, as the saying goes, “Being forewarned is being forearmed.” It cannot be then said that there is a conspiracy of silence in such a serious and delicate matter as the banking system in the Philippines.

It is true that only relatively few Filipinos have banking accounts of one kind or another. But what a big pity if even these few would be loss banking patrons. Distrust in the banking system is a big lost to the financial stability of this already financially limping Country. This is neither a truly technical knowledge nor a really profound conclusion. It is enough to recall the cry of anger and despair on the part of people who lost their hard earned money to long past and more recent bank-runs.

All the above said observations are worth serious consideration on the part of the general public – notwithstanding the poorly scripted story of the ruling administration showing off its self-serving generosity in terms of extending a whopping 1 billion US$ loan to the IMF. Needless to say, that is a lot of money coming from public funds in terms of direct and indirect taxes paid by the Filipinos from birth to death. The simple yet incisive one-word questions frequently asked and heard from the general public about such a hypocritical design of the present government are: Ha? What? Why?

Going back to a more down to earth subject matter of banking, there is this advisory that sees print every now and then. It is a titled “Be a Wise Saver.” What it says is simple yet true, and therefore worthy of sober consideration. Among its pieces of advice are the following: Be prudent. Know your bank. Keep your bank records.

Be prudent: Do not put savings in a bank just because it is near you – and/or it has big and enticing advertisements.

Know your bank: Do not entrust your savings to a bank just because it gives big interests – without knowing its integrity and stability.

Keep your bank records: Do not just keep the records of your bank transactions here and there – but together in a safe place.

Happy banking!