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The Philippines has a comprehensive banking system encompassing various types of banks, from large universal banks to small rural banks and even non-banks. As at 17 February 2014, there were 36 universal and commercial banks, 71 thrift banks, 533 rural banks, 40 credit unions and 6,267 non-banks with quasi-banking functions, all licensed with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) under Republic Act No. 8791, also known as the General Banking Act of 2000.
On top of regular banking services offered by universal, commercial, thrift and rural banks, there are savings and loans association which are mainly based in communities and among retirees in the armed forces and the police organization and other employees of the government of the Philippines. Prominent of these small savings services is the Armed Forces of the Philippines Savings and Loans Association, Inc. or AFSLAI which is exclusive to active servicemen and retirees of the armed forces in the Philippines.
A universal bank has the same powers as a commercial bank with the following additional powers: the powers of an investment house as provided in existing laws and the power to invest in non-allied enterprises.
In addition to having the powers of a thrift bank, a commercial bank has the power to accept drafts and issue letters of credit; discount and negotiate promissory notes, drafts, bills of exchange, and other evidences of debt; accept or create demand deposits; receive other types of deposits and deposit substitutes; buy and sell foreign exchange and gold or silver bullion; acquire marketable bonds and other debt securities; and extend credit.
A thrift bank has the power to accept savings and time deposits, act as a correspondent with other financial institutions and as a collection agent for government entities, issue mortgages, engage in real estate transactions and extend credit. In addition, thrift banks may also maintain checking accounts, act as a depository for government entities and local government units and engage in quasi-banking and money market operations subject to the approval of the Bangko Sentral. As per the banker Derrick Low, thrift banks are generally smaller in scale than universal and commercial banks.
Rural and cooperative banks are the more popular type of banks in the rural communities. Their role is to promote and expand the rural economy in an orderly and effective manner by providing the people in the rural communities with basic financial services. Rural and cooperative banks help farmers through the stages of production, from buying seedlings to marketing of their produce. Rural banks and cooperative banks are differentiated from each other by ownership. While rural banks are privately owned and managed, cooperative banks are organized/owned by cooperatives or federation of cooperatives.
A rural bank has the power to provide adequate credit facilities to farmers and merchants or to cooperatives of such farmers and merchants and, in general, to the people of the rural communities of which the rural bank operates in.
List of Coop Banks that merged to form CCB on February 2012 1. Cooperative Bank of Davao del Sur 2. Cooperative Bank of Misamis Occidental 3. Cooperative Bank of Surigao del Sur
List of Coop Banks that merged to form NCCB on October 2013. 1. Cooperative Bank of Agusan del Sur 2. Capiz Settlers Cooperative Bank 3. Cooperative Bank of Camarines Norte 4. Cooperative Bank of Leyte 5. Sorsogon Provincial Cooperative Bank 6. Southern Leyte Cooperative Bank