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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