At the rate many of the country’s biggest local and multinational companies are moving their headquarters from Ayala Avenue to BGC, it sometimes feels as if the country’s business and financial capital has moved from Makati to Taguig.
But make no mistake about it—Makati still holds sway as the country’s financial hub if you look at the total deposits held by bank branches located in the city. As of end-June 2017, total bank deposits in Makati reached Php2.7 trillion pesos, according to latest numbers from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). That’s a little more than eight times the deposits in Taguig, which stood only at Php332 billion.
Indeed, while Makati is No. 1 in terms of bank deposits held, Taguig ranks only sixth, behind Quezon City, Manila, Pasig and Mandaluyong. Other surprises: despite the rapid growth of property developments in Quezon City in recent years, its total bank deposits of Php1.2 trillion are only less than half of Makati’s. As well, Manila, which President Rodrigo Duterte has warned will die in a few years, still has some Php1.1 trillion in bank deposits.
With the rapid growth of Davao City, the president’s hometown, as the country’s second political capital, one would also think it may have eclipsed Cebu City. But in terms of bank deposits, Cebu’s Php320.1 billion is almost twice that of Davao’s Php171.2 billion. The two cities hold the most bank deposits among localities outside Luzon, along with Iloilo and Bacolod.
The locality with the least amount of bank deposits is a small town in Isabela province called San Mariano, which has only Php2.8 million. It is followed by Caoayan in Ilocos Sur with only Php3.1 million. All in all, there are 10 towns whose deposits are less than Php10 million. In the bottom 20 list, 11 towns are located in Luzon, seven in Visayas and two in Mindanao.
Maybe, these towns are still better off than localities with no banks at all. Of the country’s 1,634 cities and municipalities, about a third have no bank branch at all. Another quarter have only one bank. Localities with only one bank are excluded from the listing as the BSP refuses to reveal their individual financial positions.
Among all towns in the country, Morong in Rizal increased its bank deposits quarter-on-quarter the most, expanding 14 times from Php97.6 million in the first quarter to Php1.4 billion in June. However, Pililla, which is also located in the same province, saw the biggest quarter-on-quarter decline of 97 percent, diminishing from Php3.6 billion in March to only Php101.3 million in June.
According to a separate survey by the BSP, majority of the Filipino households do not have a bank account at 86 percent. Filipinos cite not having enough money as the top reason why they remain unbanked.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg