The best banks in the Philippines 2019

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Which bank in the country is considered the best? That’s a question that’s hard to answer. There are so many factors to consider and numerous banking products to evaluate. So instead of coming up with only one company, this article instead would pick one bank or the top institutions that lead in a particular category.

Here are the following categories: asset, savings account, savings account for kids, time deposit, checking account, UITF, and PERA.

Biggest banks on asset

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the biggest universal bank in terms of asset is BDO Unibank Inc. The company is followed by Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Land Bank of the Philippines, and Philippine National Bank.

Per BSP latest report, the biggest thrift bank is the BPI Family Savings Bank. Philippine Savings Bank, RCBC Savings Bank, Philippine Business Bank Inc., and China Bank Savings Inc. complete the list of the top 5.

Best banks for savings account

The best savings account as of 2019 is ING Philippines. Its promo of 4% interest on savings account equal or less than ₱10 million started from August 1, 2019 and extended until January 31, 2020. Next is GSave by CIMB Philippines. Offered through GCash app, this savings account provides 3% interest earned on your deposit until the end of 2019.

However if you’re looking to maximize your savings on accounts with interest that are not on promotion, then Citibank Peso Bonus Saver Account tops the list by offering a tiered interest anywhere between 0.6% to 1.56% per annum. The higher the balance available in your account, the higher the interest that the bank offers.

You may also want to check out BDO Optimum Savings Account (1.25%) and Security Bank eSecure Savings Account (1.20%).

Best banks for savings account for kids

Equicom’s Kiddie Builders Savings Account is the best savings account for the kids, offering 1% interest rate per year on a deposit of at least ₱1,000. In addition, when the account reaches ₱15,000 the child can avail of medical and dental benefits. Other similar products with better interest rate is BPI Jumpstart Savings (1%) and PSBank Kiddie and Teen Savers Account (0.50%). These rates are actually higher than the prevailing interest given on deposit accounts, which is currently pegged at 0.25%.

One other important factor that you need to consider is the age requirement. Some of these bank products are only available for children of certain age. You may drop by the bank that you’re interested in or visit their website to get the latest list of requirements.

Best banks for time deposit

What is the best bank for time deposit? Well, it depends on many factors. If you’re only looking for the one with the highest interest rate, then PBCom time deposit products tops the list. It gives 3.875% interest on ₱1 million for a term of 12 months. Other options are BPI Family Savings Bank (3.75% for 1 million) and PSBank (3.75% for 50k with a term of 5 years).

For time deposits, you need to check the starting capital, maturity, fees, and penalties for early withdrawal. Banks should be able to provide you with these information before even opening an account. Another thing to take into account is that the interest rates are not going to be constant. Consider checking with the bank first, as this blog may not be as updated their information.

Best banks for checking accounts

So which banks offers the best checking accounts? If you’re looking for basic product with low starting capital, then you can actually start with East West Basic Checking and UCPB CheckStarter for individual checking accounts. You can actually open an account with an opening balance of ₱1,000. These two products also have the lowest maintaining balance of ₱1,000.

For business accounts, you may check BPI Business Checking, DBP Current Account, Land Bank Regular Current Account, BPI BizLink, Metrobank Commercial Checking, Maybank Classic Checking Account, PBCom Regular Checking, Robinsons Bank Regular Checking, Robinsons Bank Peso Checking, and PBCom Value Check. You may open any one of them for as low ₱10,000.

Now, you have to remember that some of these accounts don’t earn interest. See your bank’s rep for more information about non-interest bearing and interest-bearing checking accounts.

But if earning interest is your concern, then MetroChecking Extra (Personal – No ATM card) may be something that is worth looking into. With a balance of ₱15,000, your account earns 0.25% interest per annum before taxes.

Best bank for UITF investment

Unit investment trust fund or UITF is an investment product that allows you to take part in the potential growth of the country’s largest companies through stocks or equities , bonds, money market, and other assets.

If you’re looking for a UITF with the lowest starting capital, then you can actually open Development Bank of the Philippines Unlad Kawani Money Market Fund for only ₱25. Next on the list would be Union Bank’s Peso Short Term Fixed Income Portfolio, which you can start for only ₱500.

How about banks with no holding period? Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Security Bank are the top of the list. Their funds don’t have any holding period, and that means that you can avoid being charged for any exit fee for redeeming your investments too early.

How about the fund with the least management fee? Again, Development Bank of the Philippines Unlad Kawani Money Market Fund is the runaway winner for charging only 0.05% per annum.

Best banks for PERA

Personal Equity and Retirement Account or PERA is an account established by law to allow Pinoy to prepare for their future when they retire. As of the moment, only BPI and BDO offer them with Land Bank poised to launch their own PERA funds soon. And all of these products can be opened for as low ₱1,000.

Structured like UITF with additional tax benefits, they have the same fees as UITF. So the best bank without holding period? All PERA funds from Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) don’t have any, and therefore you don’t have to worry about any exit fee.

In terms of the lowest management fee, it’s Landbank PERA Money Market Fund that charges 0.20% per annum.