Initial operations of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) will proceed as scheduled in January, the Finance department reiterated on Monday, citing assurances from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
“The launching of the bank will not be delayed. BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. has confirmed that the requisite approvals from the Monetary Board and the BSP will be secured before yearend,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said in a statement.
Dominguez earlier welcomed Malacanang’s approval of Land Bank of the Philippines’ acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank, which he said would pave the way for the establishment of a financial institution that would cater not only to migrant workers but all other overseas-based Filipinos as well.
Expanding the coverage of the new bank would make it “more inclusive”, he added.
“The Department of Finance moved quickly to help deliver on the President’s campaign promise to create a financial institution totally dedicated to catering to the needs of all overseas Filipinos—the Overseas Filipino Bank,” Dominguez said.
The OFB, the Finance chief said, will be a subsidiary of Land Bank, “the government-owned and -controlled bank with the most extensive branch network that will cater to the needs of the families of foreign-based Filipinos.”
Dominguez also noted that LandBank submitted a draft Executive Order (EO) mandating the acquisition of the Postal Bank in the first week of September, way ahead of an October deadline.
Under EO 44, which was issued by Malacanang on September 28, ordered the Philippine Postal Corp. and the Bureau of the Treasury to transfer their bank shares to LandBank at zero value.
The EO further states that Postal Bank will be converted into the Overseas Filipino Bank, which will focus providing financial products and services tailored to the requirements of overseas Filipinos.
Dominguez has said that one of the key features of the bank will be a remittance service for overseas Filipino workers as well as a loan program for Filipinos planning to return here to start businesses or build homes.
LandBank and the Treasury are also exploring ways to mobilize the savings of overseas-based Filipinos so they can invest in the country’s capital markets.