PNB’s digital bank should focus on personal loans and investments


PHILIPPINE NATIONAL Bank (PNB) is considering Fifor a digital banking license within the year with its holding company as a social vehicle.

PNB said in a disclosure to the exchange on Monday that it would apply for a new digital banking license, in accordance with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) framework for the sector under BSP Circular 1105.

“We will first build this digital bank ourselves, but we are open to partnerships with companies that will add value to our proposition,” said the president and CEO of PNB Officer Jose Arnulfo A. Veloso said in an e-mail to Business world.

The listed lender has said its holding company Allied Integrated Holdings, Inc. will be the legal entity for the planned digital bank. The clothe Firm was previously its PNB Savings Bank savings lending unit.

“We can strengthen the ability of PNB to take advantage of a number of opportunities as we target the mass market,” Veloso said, adding that there is an ecosystem they could benefit from.Fit through the other entities of the LT, Inc. group.

He said their planned digital bank will focus on providing retail lending and investment services to clients.

They are also looking to provide connectivity between overseas Filipinos and their fund recipients in their country via digital banking, Veloso added.

BSP Circular 1105 distinguishes digital banks from universal, commercial, savings, rural, cooperative and Islamic lenders. These digital banks offer Financial services such as taking loans and deposits through an online platform instead of the brick and mortar model of traditional lenders.

Among the commercial lenders, only UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. has applied for a digital banking license, which is still pending with the BSP.

Meanwhile, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. also meantFistrong interest in applying for a digital banking license. The Yuchengco-led lender launched its Diskartech app last year, where users can create accounts, make deposits, and apply for loans.

The Monetary Policy Council has issued digital banking licenses to the Overseas Filipino Bank, Tonik Digital Bank, Inc. (Philippines) and UNOBANK.

The BSP previously capped the licenses to be issued under the new digital banking framework for Five, but offiThe companies have said they allow more players to operate if there is high demand.

GNP net profit climbed 34% to P1.791 billion in the Fithe first three months of 2021 from P 1.337 billion a year earlier, as lower spending offfixes the decline in its total operating income.

Shares of the Tan-led lender closed at P20.60 each on Monday, up 78 centavos or 3.94% from its previous Fiend. – Luz Wendy T. Noble

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