The Philippines has a population of about 96.7 million and is considered a thought leader in financial inclusion due to the many initiatives and gains in microfinance and, more recently, in mobile financial services.
Global Findex data finds that only 10.5% of adult Filipinos had a loan from a formal financial institution in the past year. In the Philippines, 37% of the total 1,634 cities and municipalities do not have a banking office and 15% of the total population live in unbanked cities and municipalities.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the central bank of the Philippines, is the specialized government agency that provides policy directions in the areas banking, and credit. It supervises the operations of banks and regulates the operation of finance companies and non-bank financial institutions including MFIs. BSP reported that, while there is a sustained increase in the number of banks and ATMs, the distribution is highly skewed towards highly populous and urbanized areas.