Financial and Professional Services Sectors in the Philippines

Financial and Professional Services sectors in the Philippines

The Philippines financial sector remains strong. Banking is driven by increasing consumer spending, remittances from overseas workers and technology use. Partnership opportunities also exist for professional services firms, especially around the increasing PPP market in the Philippines.
Send Money to the Philippines.

Banking and Finance

The Philippine banking sector has remained strong despite the global crisis. The past year was characterised by increased deposits and lending, high capital adequacy ratios, and growth of the banking system’s total resources.

Retail banking is active with the growth of consumer loans including credit card usage, the continuous stream of remittances from overseas workers (est. £12 billion in 2011), and the increasing use of technology with the recognition of the need for e-banking for increased financial access. Islamic banking is a niche segment that has potential for further development.

Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) established its headquarters in Manila in 1966. With core areas of operation in environment, education, infrastructure (transport, energy, water, and urban development), finance and regional integration, the bank offers multi-sector project opportunities across the region.

Professional Services

The Philippines currently does not allow foreign ownership in the practice of professions such as accounting and law. Firms providing professional services such as advisory and general consultancy can partner with local companies for projects, whether with the government, private sector or multilateral agencies.

Key opportunities

General opportunities include:

  • Supply of banking products, services and solutions, including those with retail banking applications
  • Training and accreditation for finance professionals
  • Partnership with local firms to provide advisory / consulting services to local companies for infrastructure/PPP projects
  • Accreditation with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for provision of goods and consultancy services for regional projects.

Market entry

  • Doing business in the Philippines is highly relational. Formal and personal introductions to clients would be a preferred way to enter the market, as would partnerships with established local companies. English is the language of business in the Philippines. Experience of doing business in South East Asia is also an advantage.
  • Supply of financial products and services is commonly done through a local agent or distributor, to leverage on their existing networks and knowledge of regulations. Direct procurement is also accepted in the private sector.
  • For government projects, public procurement is a key route, and with a Philippine partner. Price is a key consideration in order to remain competitive, particularly in the Philippines.

Contacts at UKTI

Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with UKTI specialists at the British Embassy in Manila – or contact your local international trade team.


For flights, hotels and tourist spots in the Philippines information, please see relevant pages

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