The first thing to be aware of is that all the Philippine Banks are owned by the rich families and some of them are not as stable as they might appear. Bank failures are not unknown here - you may have heard about "Legacy" and the Rural Banks which pretty much amounted to fraudulent practices by the owner. Also - and this applies to foreign banks too - your accounts are only "protected" (and I use the term loosely) to a maximum of PHP500,000 - and that is for all your accounts with any one bank. If you are planning to live in Manila, Cebu or Davao, then you may wish to move your UK accounts to HSBC, if you're not already a customer. HSBC has branches in each of the cities I've mentioned. You can then ask your local manager to arrange for you to have accounts with HSBC in the Philippines which he will do through HSBC's International Division. You will have to make an initial deposit into (one of) your Philippine account(s) of around GBP10,000 at the time of application and I'd suggest you have Sterling deposit account and a Peso current account, but do NOT transfer your entire wealth to the Philippines! If you haven't already done so, apply for Internet Banking, you will definitely need it. Your accounts will be opened at the main branch in Manila but they will send your cheque-books and ATM cards to your nearest branch for you to collect. If you're not already a Premier customer and even if you don't qualify for free Premier banking, do apply: it will have significant advantages including free and immediate currency transfers between the UK and Phils. In addition, once you have permanent residency status, you can apply for a local credit card with an immediate PHP500,000 credit limit (the initial ceiling for non-Premier accounts is significantly less). If you don't plan on returning to the UK, except for a visit of less than 3 months, ask your bank to "externalise" your accounts. This will ensure that you won't be charged tax on interest accrued.