Overseas Filipino Bank to start operations on Jan. 2 '18

MANILA -- The proposed bank targeted for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will commence operations on Jan. 2, 2018.

Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) president and CEO Alex Buenaventura, in an interview by PNA Friday, said they re-submitted to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday their application to acquire Postal Bank.

He said he was able to talk with BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. and was given an assurance that the policy-making Monetary Board (MB) “will fast track the approval before the year ends.”

Landbank is seeking the Board’s approval for the proposed Overseas Filipino Bank’s PHP1 billion authorized capital, PHP700 million of which will be classified into common shares while the balance of PHP300 million will be preferred shares.

Buenaventura said the MB approval is needed for the OFW Bank to forward to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) the proposed amendments of its Article of Incorporation and By-laws.

He, however, said that sans the SEC approval the OF Bank can start its operations.

“The amendment is not a prerequisite for the Overseas Filipino Bank,” he said.

While operations will start on January 2 next year, Buenaventura said formal launching will be held in April of the same year.

He said initial marketing of the bank will be done by the bank’s head office, to be located at the Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila, by talking to OFW beneficiaries.

“We will meet with OFW beneficiaries and market the products for their OFW relatives. We will give out kits,” he said.

Buenaventura said a pilot representative office will be opened at the Consular Office in Dubai by April next year.

Asked for the reason why Dubai was chosen, the Landbank chief said it was recommended by the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment).

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed on Sept. 28, 2017 Executive Order (EO) 44, directing the Philippine Postal Corporation (PhilPost) and the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) to transfer their Postalbank shares to the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) at zero value.

Under the EO, Landbank was ordered to ensure the capitalization of Overseas Filipino Bank, which will be headed by Landbank's chairperson.

Postalbank officials who will be affected by this transfer will be offered an early retirement incentive plan. (PNA)