special deposit accounts

Individuals cannot invest in SDAs anymore

Effective January 1, 2014, retail investors (meaning, individuals) will not be allowed to invest in Special Deposit Accounts (SDA) anymore, according to a recent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) memorandum.

BSP Memo number 2013-021 issued on May 20, 2013 restricted access to SDAs only to trust accounts and Unit Investment Trust Funds (UITFs). “Other fiduciary business including agency accounts and investment management activities (IMA) shall no longer have access to the said facility,” the memo explained.

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Why the BSP restricts foreign funds in SDA investments

SDAs or Special Deposit Accounts are a favorite investment choice of relatively risk-averse people, Filipinos and foreigners alike, looking to park their money in safe, highly-liquid, but high interest-earning instruments.

Such benefits made special deposit accounts very attractive products, which paved the way for more than P1.658 trillion being parked in the central bank’s SDA facility as of June 15, 2012. How big is this amount? Well, this is almost the size of the Philippines’ 2012 budget of P1.816 trillion.

Such humongous amount of peso placements have both advantages and disadvantages.

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