The Philippines could risk inclusion in a global anti-money laundering (AML) watchlist unless it tightens its AML regulations by October, warned the Bankers Association of the Philippines.
Cezar Consing, president of the association, explained that the Philippines’ weak controls on money laundering and stringent deposit secrecy measures could attract bad money and hinder the country’s firms and citizens from engaging in international banking transactions.
Consing, who is also the president and CEO of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, the nation’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, said local banks may be isolated from the global financial system if the Philippines carries a reputation of being a “dirty-money” destination. Aside from stricter AML rules, the government is also urged to relax its deposit secrecy rules amid a cash smuggling probe linked to online casinos mainly catering to Chinese clients. The chief of the country’s largest group of lenders also stressed the need to update banking policy to fight cybercrime and protect customers.