The Central Bank of Philippines (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas or BSP) is advocating the mainstreaming of sustainable finance as part of its broader efforts to promote a resilient, inclusive, and low-carbon economy. The BSP Governor outlined the related initiatives and noted that over USD 1.0 billion and PHP 85.4 billion worth of green, social, and sustainability bonds have already issued by “first mover” banks since 2017. Additionally, the Monetary Board has, in the Resolution No 730 dated June 10, 2021, approved the guidelines on open finance framework, which is seen as a key enabler for digital transformation and financial inclusion. In this context, BSP published a circular that will take effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette or any newspaper of circulation.
The open finance framework promotes consent-driven data portability, interoperability, and collaborative partnerships between financial institutions and fintech players. The framework covers different financial institutions and a broader array of financial products such as, but not limited to, banking products and services, investments, pensions, and insurance. An industry-led body called the Open Finance Oversight Committee (OFOC) shall exercise governance on the activities and participants of the open finance ecosystem and shall develop application programming interface (API) standards reference or other equivalent documentation to meet the recommended technical standards to facilitate industry-wide adoption. All existing API arrangements prior to the issuance of this circular shall comply with the applicable requirements prescribed herein, within one year from effectivity of this circular. BSP expects a tiered implementation of the framework based on data sensitivity and types of data and data holder (though multiple implementations may occur at the same time):
- The first tier involves sharing of product and service information and other details of financial products or services that are already readily accessible online.
- The second tier involves sharing of subscription and new account applications information.
- The third tier involves sharing of account information or personal and financial information provided by a customer.
- The fourth tier covers transactions data, such as payments and other financial transactions data.
- The fifth tier covers those not covered by tiers 1-4 and other more complex financial products or use cases.
Keywords: Asia Pacific, Philippines, Banking, Sustainable Finance, ESG, Open Finance, Fintech, Regtech, Suptech, API, Regulatory Sandbox, Open Finance Oversight Committee, Open Banking, BSP
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