All About the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank)
In line with the government’s commitment to protecting and upholding the welfare of the country’s modern-day heroes, President Rodrigo Duterte has kept his promise to the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) during his 2016 presidential campaign. Almost two years forward, President Duterte led the ceremonial launch of the OFW bank on January 18th, 2018 in Liwasang Bonifacio, Manila.
Named as the Overseas Filipino Bank, the OFBank is a policy bank dedicated to provide financial products and services tailored to the requirements of OFWs and foreign-based Filipinos. Likewise, the bank will cater to the needs of the sector, strengthen the government’s presence in the remittance market, and eventually influence lower costs of bank remittance.
Compared to other banks, the OFBank will offer a wide range of banking products and services that will match the needs of overseas Filipinos such as the following:
- Deposit Products – including Peso ATM Savings, Time Deposit, and Checking Accounts
- Future Need Savings Plan – to help overseas Filipinos develop the habit of savings
- Loan Products – to help overseas Filipinos and their beneficiaries build their own homes and start their own businesses
- Investment Products – such as Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITF) and Invest in the Preferred Shares of OFBank where overseas Filipinos can become co-owners of the bank
- Payment Services – to enable overseas Filipinos pay from abroad their SSS, OWWA, and PhilHealth dues; insurance premiums; credit cards; telephone and water bills; housing and business loans; and tuition fees of their beneficiaries directly to the payees in the Philippines
- Mobile Credit-To-Account System – to enable overseas Filipinos remit money to their beneficiaries in the cheapest, fastest, secured, and most convenient way
If you are an OFW or a foreign-based Filipino who wants to open an account in the OFBank and is currently in the Philippines, there are only two things that you have to do:
- Go directly to the OFBank’s main branch in Manila.
- Bring all the required documents. These include:
(a) your fully accomplished application form, which you can get at the main branch since the bank’s website is not yet available;
(b) your OFW ID and other government-issued IDs;
(c) 1×1 ID picture; and
(d) your Overseas Employment Certificate to verify your status as an OFW.
Note: Application for opening of account is FREE. However as of this writing, the OFBank is available and exclusive to overseas Filipinos only. But eventually, the bank will also open its doors to their families.
The creation of the OFBank was mandated by the Executive Order No. 44, which was signed by President Duterte in September 2017. EO 44 approved Land Bank of the Philippines’ acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank, which was converted into the OFBank.
Reportedly, the bank will also be operating in the countries of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Dubai by the second or third quarter of 2018.
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– Official Gazette. “Executive Order No. 44”. www.officialgazette.gov.ph. http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2017/09sep/20170928-EO-44-RRD.pdf (accessed April 5, 2018)
– OFWbank. “How to Open an Account with Overseas Filipino Bank”. ofwbank.ph. http://ofwbank.ph/how-to-open-an-account-with-overseas-filipino-bank/ (accessed April 5, 2018)
– OFW Money. “Overseas Filipino Bank: How to Open Bank Account & What You’ll Need”. ofwmoney.org. https://ofwmoney.org/how-to/overseas-filipino-bank-requirements/ (accessed April 5, 2018)
– PDS Group. “Press Release January 18, 2018”. www.pds.com.ph. http://www.pds.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Disclosure-No.-218-2018-Press-Release-Government-launches-Overseas-Filipino-Bank-with-products-and-services-tailored-to-the-needs-of-Overseas-Filipinos.pdf (accessed April 6, 2018)