Manila Bulletin

PNB plans to es­tab­lish dig­i­tal bank sub­sidiary

- By LEE C. CHIPON­GIAN

The Philip­pine Na­tional Bank (PNB) is think­ing of putting up a dig­i­tal bank ei­ther as a sub­sidiary or stand-alone unit, ac­cord­ing to its pres­i­dent and CEO Jose Ar­nulfo “Wick” Veloso.

“We’re dis­cussing in­ter­nally with the prin­ci­pals,” said Veloso. “They re­ally want us to set up a dig­i­tal bank” and a pure dig­i­tal bank at that.

The Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas (BSP) has drafted a cir­cu­lar for the es­tab­lish­ment of dig­i­tal banks in the coun­try and the bank­ing com­mu­nity is cur­rently be­ing con­sulted on this, in­clud­ing the pro­posal to im­pose a min­i­mum cap­i­tal­iza­tion of R1 bil­lion for a dig­i­tal bank­ing li­cense.

“Clearly, as we get to see more reg­u­la­tions (or) the reg­u­la­tory body en­cour­ag­ing dig­i­tal bank par­tic­i­pa­tion, we would like to also re­view that and prob­a­bly put into a sub­sidiary or stand alone,” said Veloso. “I un­der­stand there is go­ing to be dif­fer­ent reg­u­la­tory re­lief or ease of do­ing busi­ness for those that are go­ing to set up purely dig­i­tal banks. That is some­thing that we are se­ri­ously re­view­ing.”

Veloso, in a vir­tual press brief­ing on Fri­day, said that in the dig­i­tal bank­ing land­scape as it is cur­rently set up now, PNB is one of the lead­ers in the dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ence and since March when the lock­downs were im­ple­mented, the bank has been try­ing to con­vince clients to go dig­i­tal.

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