Bank deposits rose last year as changes in spending habits brought about by the coronavirus pandemic boosted Filipinos’ savings, the state-run Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) reported.

Roberto B. Tan, PDIC president and chief executive said on Friday, April 23, that total deposits in the banking system increased by nine percent to P14.9 trillion at end-December last year from P13.6 trillion a year earlier.

Tan said the growth, equivalent to P1.2 trillion, highlighted the propensity of Filipinos to save and to be financially prepared during difficult times.

“The pandemic underscored the important role banks play in enabling access to essential financial services. The deposit growth is also an indication of improved depositor confidence in the banking system,” Tan said in a statement.

The number of deposit accounts, likewise, increased by 8.7 percent to 80.1 million from 73.7 million in the previous year.

The boost in deposits also mirrored the expansion of fully insured deposit accounts by 8.8 percent to 77.4 million from 71.2 million, represents 96.7 percent of the total fully insured deposit accounts. 

In terms of amount, P1.7 trillion total deposits is fully covered by deposit insurance, an expansion of 8.6 percent from the P1.6 trillion in 2019. 

PDIC data also showed that deposits with balances above P500,000 grew by nine percent to P13.1 trillion from P12.0 trillion in 2019. Total number of accounts reached 2.7 million, up from 2.5 million at the close of 2019. 

In spite of the pandemic, most deposit types registered increases both in terms of accounts and amount. Savings deposits and demand/NOW deposits increased by 16.2 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively.

Savings deposits and demand/NOW deposits jointly accounted for the bulk of total domestic deposits at 75.9 percent.

Source: Manila Bulletin (