A quick guide to thrift banks in the Philippines

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In the vibrant and rapidly growing economy of the Philippines, thrift banks have emerged as a driving force in empowering individuals and small businesses to access essential financial services. With their commitment to financial inclusion and a customer-centric approach, thrift banks play a pivotal role in fostering economic growth and stability across the nation.

As the Philippine economy continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly vital to understand the significance of thrift banks and the unique value they bring to the banking landscape. In this article, we will delve into the world of thrift banks in the Philippines, exploring their services, impact, and the opportunities they provide for individuals to realize their financial aspirations.

Join us as we unravel the multifaceted realm of thrift banks and discover how these institutions are revolutionizing the way Filipinos save, invest, make money and thrive in an ever-changing financial landscape.

So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur looking for credit options, an aspiring homeowner planning to secure a mortgage, or an individual seeking to grow your savings, this article will serve as a comprehensive guide to understanding the role and impact of thrift banks in the Philippines.

Together, let’s unlock the potential of thrift banks and embark on a journey to financial empowerment and prosperity in the dynamic and exciting financial landscape of the Philippines.

Definition and Examples of Thrift Banks

Thrift banks, also known as savings and mortgage banks, are a type of financial institution in the Philippines that primarily focus on accepting savings deposits and providing mortgage loans. They play a significant role in promoting financial inclusion, encouraging both savings and loans, and facilitating homeownership in the country. Here are some definitions and examples of thrift banks in the Philippines:

Definition: Thrift banks in the Philippines are regulated financial institutions that specialize in accepting savings deposits and providing mortgage loans to individuals and small businesses. They cater to the retail sector and aim to promote a culture of savings and homeownership among Filipinos.

Examples of Thrift Banks in the Philippines:

1. All Bank inc

AllBank (A Thrift Bank), Inc. is in the business of providing specialized financing products and services to working-class Filipinos and business owners. AllBank’s fundamental goal is to play a vital role in the development of not only the communities that its branches call home but also the businesses that surround it.

AllBank also offers services and highly competitive products that yield better returns compared to our competitors. Banking with us is never a chore due to our top-notch customer service innovations. But beyond anything, banking with us makes you feel at ease:

  • Has 17 Branches and 29 ATMs as of December 31, 2020
  • Key markets comprise Working-class Filipinos, SMEs

2. BPI Direct BanKo

BPI Direct BanKo is a thrift bank in the Philippines that provides microfinance services, savings accounts, and loans specifically tailored for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). They focus on financial inclusion and support the growth of small businesses.

3. Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)

PSBank is a thrift bank and subsidiary of the Metrobank Group. It offers a range of banking services, including savings accounts, time deposits, loans, and remittances. PSBank aims to provide accessible banking services to a wide customer base.

4. Robinsons Bank

Robinsons Bank is a thrift bank in the Philippines with a focus on consumer banking. They offer various savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and other financial services. Robinsons Bank aims to provide convenient and personalized banking experiences to its customers.

5. EastWest Bank

EastWest Bank operates as a commercial bank but started as a thrift bank in the Philippines. It offers a range of banking services, including savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment products. EastWest Bank focuses on providing innovative and customer-centric solutions.

6. Philippine Business Bank (PBB)

PBB is a thrift bank that specializes in providing banking services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines. They offer savings accounts, loans, trade financing, and cash management solutions tailored to business needs.’

These are just a few examples of thrift banks in the Philippines. There are several other thrift and commercial banks also operating in the country, each with its own unique services, customer focus, and market presence.

Banks, Thrifts, and Credit Unions – What’s the Difference?

Banks, thrifts, and credit unions are three different types of financial institutions, each with its own characteristics and purposes. While they all provide financial services, there are significant differences between them. Let’s explore these differences:

  1. Ownership and Structure:
    • Banks: Banks are typically for-profit institutions owned by shareholders. They aim to generate profits and maximize shareholder value.
    • Thrifts: Thrifts, also known as savings and mortgage banks, can be either for-profit or not-for-profit institutions. They may be mutually owned by their customers or owned by specific groups of individuals.
    • Credit Unions: Credit unions are not-for-profit institutions owned by their members. Each member has equal ownership and voting rights, and profits are returned to members in the form of reduced fees, competitive interest rates, and improved services.
  2. Membership:
    • Banks: Banks are open to the general public. Anyone can open an account and access the services offered by a bank.
    • Thrifts: Like banks, thrifts are generally open to the public. However, some thrifts may have membership requirements or restrictions based on specific criteria.
    • Credit Unions: Credit unions have a specific field of membership. They serve a particular group of individuals who share a common bond, such as employees of a specific company, members of a particular organization, or residents of a certain community.
  3. Services Offered:
    • Banks: Banks provide a wide range of financial services, including savings and checking accounts, loans, credit cards, investment products, insurance, and other specialized services.
    • Thrifts: Thrifts focus primarily on accepting savings deposits and providing mortgage loans. They may also offer other financial services, such as basic checking accounts, time deposits, and remittances.
    • Credit Unions: Credit unions offer similar services to banks, including savings and checking accounts, loans, credit cards, and investment products. However, their service offerings may be more limited compared to banks.Speaking of investments, Here are some smart ideas for first-time investors visit the link to learn more.
  4. Regulatory Oversight:
    • Banks: Banks are regulated by central banks and banking regulatory authorities in their respective countries. These regulations ensure the stability, integrity, and compliance of banks with banking laws and regulations.
    • Thrifts: Thrifts are regulated by central banks or specific regulatory authorities overseeing savings and mortgage banks. The regulations aim to ensure the sound operation of thrifts and protect depositors and borrowers.
    • Credit Unions: Credit unions are regulated by regulatory bodies specific to credit unions, which may vary from country to country. These regulations focus on maintaining the financial soundness of credit unions and protecting the interests of their members.

Understanding the distinctions between banks, thrifts, and credit unions can help individuals and businesses make informed decisions when selecting the most suitable financial institution to meet their specific needs. Whether you prioritize profit maximization, community focus, or membership benefits, each type of institution serves its unique purpose and plays a vital role in the financial ecosystem.

How to Choose the Right Thrift Banks

Choosing the right thrift bank is an important decision that can have a significant impact on your financial journey. Here are key factors to consider when selecting a thrift bank in the Philippines:

  1. Evaluating Interest Rates and Fees:
    • Compare the interest rates offered on savings accounts and time deposits. Look for competitive rates that can help your savings grow over time.
    • Consider any fees associated with maintaining an account, transactions, or other services. Assess the fee structure and ensure it aligns with your financial goals and usage patterns.
  2. Assessing Accessibility and Branch Network:
    • Determine the thrift bank’s branch network and its proximity to your residence, workplace, or frequently visited areas. A well-established branch network can offer convenience when accessing banking services.
    • Evaluate the availability of ATMs and their coverage, especially if you anticipate frequent cash withdrawals or need easy access to your funds.
  3. Services and Products Offered:
    • Understand the range of services and products provided by the thrift bank. Consider whether they align with your financial needs, such as mortgage loans, consumer loans, investment options, or specialized savings accounts.
    • If you have specific financial goals or requirements, ensure that the thrift bank offers the necessary products or expertise to support them.
  4. Reputation and Customer Service:
    • Research the thrift bank’s reputation and track record. Look for customer reviews, ratings, and feedback to gauge customer satisfaction levels.
    • Consider the quality of customer service provided by the thrift bank. Look for prompt and helpful assistance, availability of support channels, and user-friendly digital platforms.
  5. Technology and Digital Banking Capabilities:
    • Assess the thrift bank’s digital banking capabilities, including online banking platforms, mobile apps, and digital services. Consider the convenience and functionality of these platforms for managing your accounts and conducting transactions remotely.
    • Look for features such as fund transfers, bill payments, account monitoring, and the availability of digital tools to enhance your banking experience.
  6. Security and Regulatory Compliance:
    • Ensure that the thrift bank is duly regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines. Regulatory oversight helps ensure the safety and stability of the institution.
    • Inquire about the security measures implemented by the thrift bank to protect your personal and financial information. This includes data encryption, fraud detection, and robust security protocols.

By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision when selecting the right thrift bank that aligns with your financial goals, offers competitive rates, provides convenient access, and prioritizes customer service and security. You may also check some related articles on the benefits of putting your savings into the right investments.

Safety and Regulations

When choosing a thrift bank in the Philippines, it’s essential to consider the safety and regulatory aspects. Here are key points related to regulatory oversight, deposit insurance coverage, and ensuring the security and stability of thrift banks:

  1. Regulatory Oversight:
    • Thrift banks in the Philippines are regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the country. The BSP is responsible for ensuring the stability, soundness, and integrity of the banking system.
    • The BSP sets rules, guidelines, and standards that thrift banks must adhere to, covering areas such as capital adequacy, risk management, corporate governance, and compliance with anti-money laundering and customer protection regulations.
    • The regulatory oversight by the BSP helps maintain the stability of thrift banks and ensures they operate within the framework of laws and regulations.
  2. Deposit Insurance Coverage:
    • The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) provides deposit insurance coverage to eligible thrift bank depositors. PDIC is a government agency tasked with protecting depositors and maintaining stability in the banking system.
    • PDIC provides deposit insurance coverage of up to 500,000 Philippine pesos per depositor per bank. This coverage includes both the principal and interest earned on deposit accounts.
    • Deposit insurance coverage protects depositors in the event of bank closure, insolvency, or liquidation. It gives depositors confidence that their funds are safeguarded up to the prescribed limits.
  3. Security and Stability of Thrift Banks:
    • Thrift banks are required to implement robust security measures to protect the privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information and transactions.
    • These measures include the use of data encryption, secure online banking platforms, fraud detection systems, and strict access controls.
    • Thrift banks are also required to maintain adequate capital levels to ensure financial stability and absorb potential losses. Capital adequacy ratios are monitored and enforced by the BSP to safeguard the interests of depositors and maintain the stability of the banking system.
  4. Customer Complaints and Grievance Mechanisms:
    • Thrift banks are expected to have established customer complaint and grievance mechanisms to address any concerns or issues raised by customers.
    • These mechanisms may include dedicated customer service channels, escalation procedures, and dispute resolution processes.
    • Customers should familiarize themselves with the complaint-handling procedures of the thrift bank they choose, enabling them to raise any grievances and seek resolution if necessary.

By understanding the regulatory oversight, deposit insurance coverage, and security measures implemented by thrift banks, customers can make informed decisions and have confidence in the safety and stability of their deposits. It is advisable to review the relevant regulations, inquire about deposit insurance coverage, and ensure the thrift bank has appropriate security measures in place before opening an account.


In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has shed light on the world of thrift banks in the Philippines, showcasing their significance in promoting financial inclusion and empowering individuals and small businesses. We explored the definition of thrift banks, highlighted notable examples, and distinguished them from other financial institutions.

Choosing the right thrift bank requires careful consideration of factors such as interest rates, fees, accessibility, services offered, reputation, customer service, technology, and security. It is crucial to prioritize regulatory oversight, deposit insurance coverage, and robust security measures to ensure the safety and stability of deposits.

Thrift banks in the Philippines serve as catalysts for financial empowerment, fostering economic growth, supporting small businesses, and encouraging savings and homeownership. By leveraging the insights from this guide, individuals and businesses can make informed decisions and tap into the potential of thrift banks to achieve their financial goals in the dynamic financial landscape of the Philippines.

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