OFW bank set to open September 2017

Don Kevin Hapal
OFW bank set to open September 2017
While the OFW bank is still in the works, Landbank will set up a representative office in Saudi Arabia

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s fourth largest commercial bank, Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank or LBP), is set to open a bank that will be partly owned by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by September 2017, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who also chairs LandBank’s board of directors, said that LBP will be converting its newly-acquired Philippine Postal Savings Bank into a subsidiar, 30% of which will be owned by OFWs.

“The acquisition of the postal bank will be completed by the third quarter of 2017, after all required procedures are completed and approvals are secured. The LBP has sufficient resources to complete this transaction,” Dominguez said.

LBP president Alex Buenaventura said that the OFW bank will be a listed company with an authorized capital of P3 billion and a subscribed capital of P2 billion, of which P1 billion is paid-up by LBP itself. Another P1 billion will be open for subscription to OFWs who can acquire them by buying shares in the bank.

Buenaventura said it would take 8 months to accomplish the requirements that would convert the postal bank into a LandBank subsidiary. 

LandBank will have to seek clearances from the Governance Commission for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GCG) and the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), as well as approvals from the Monetary Board, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the OFW bank to be operational by September 1, 2017.

But while the OFW bank is still in the works, Dominguez said LBP will set up a representative office in Saudi Arabia to cater to the banking needs of Filipinos there.

Buenaventura added that the LandBank decided to open the Saudi unit in Riyadh because 40% of OFWs based in that country reside there.

“The LandBank unit will be opened near the Philippine labor office or near a place where OFWs usually converge and meet,” he said. – Rappler.com

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Don Kevin Hapal

Don Kevin Hapal is Rappler’s Head of Data and Innovation. He started at Rappler as a digital communications specialist, then went on to lead Rappler’s Balikbayan section for overseas Filipinos. He was introduced to data journalism while writing and researching about social media, disinformation, and propaganda.