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Philippine central bank approves guidelines for 'branch-lite' units

The Philippine central bank approved guidelines for banks to set up "branch-lite" units in under-banked areas to facilitate access to financial services.

The branch-lite units would allow banks to expand in areas that are unbanked or underserved and provide services suited to meet the needs of the market, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said in a Dec. 20 statement. The locations will not offer services suited for sophisticated customers with high risk tolerance.

There are more than 570 cities and municipalities in the Philippines with no banking services offered, the central bank noted.