MANILA, Philippines — Well Fargo Bank National Association closed down its representative office in the Philippines last month, the second foreign bank to shut down its liaison office in Manila amid the pandemic.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier said the Monetary Board issued Resolution?? 695 noting the cessation of operations of Wells Fargo Bank – Manila Representative Office.
“Wells Fargo decided to close its representative office in the Philippines, citing the adoption of a centralized approach to optimize efficiency in line with the bank’s core international principles,” Fonacier told The STAR.
Wells Fargo’s presence in the Philippines can be traced back to 1901 as part of its Asian operations footprint. It established an operations function in Manila in 2011 and then quickly grew to provide capabilities including risk, project management, data analytics, finance and accounting.
In February last year, Wells Fargo & Co. laid off about 700 workers in the Philippines as it decided to move most of its technology employees to locations with high concentration of workers such as India.
The BSP allows foreign banks? to open representative offices in the Philippines to serve as liaison offices to promote and provide information about the services or products they offer, but may not transact banking businesses, such as acceptance of deposits, issuance of letters of credit and foreign exchange trading.
Last December, Korea Development Bank – Representative Office in the Philippines also closed down.
Korea Development Bank opened its representative office in the Philippines in July 2014 to provide financial advice and information to Korean companies relocating their manufacturing activities to the country.
With the closure of Wells Fargo Bank, there are 11 remaining foreign banks operating representative offices in the Philippines.
These are the Bank of Singapore Ltd. Philippines, Bank of Taiwan, Credit Suisse AG, DBS Bank Ltd., Japan Bank for International Cooperation, Korea Eximbank, Rothschild (Singapore) Ltd., State of India, The Bank of New York Mellon, The Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank Ltd. and UBS AG.