LandBank completes PostalBank valuation

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STATE-OWNED Land Bank of the Philippines has completed its valuation of the Philippine Postal Saving Bank, which is being eyed by the government to become the overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) bank by October, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.

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Based on the assessment of LandBank, PostalBank was valued at a negative P580 million, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said.

“This bank has been struggling for many years. But you know that is an internal negotiation between two government agencies. So we will settle it among ourselves. It is not like we are bidding it out with the private sector. It is the same pocket. In the end, it’s the Treasury pocket, it’s ourselves,” he said.

Dominguez said that what is important is the establishment of a bank that is focused on marketing its services to the OFWs to make their banking transactions and remittances easier, as well as servicing the loan requirements of OFW-dependent families.

To be established after LandBank acquires the PostalBank, the OFW Bank will be a LandBank subsidiary that will be owned 30 percent by OFWs. It will have an authorized capital of P3 billion and a subscribed capital of P2 billion.

“It’s a specialized bank that will focus on this market,” Dominguez noted, saying the new bank will likely open for business in October.

After the valuation, the next step for LandBank is to obtain the Monetary Board’s approval for the conversion, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said.

“Following that, we are going to approach the Philippine Postal Corp. and negotiate on the price,” De Leon said.

PostalBank is the thrift bank arm of the government-owned Philippine Postal Corp. As of December 31, 2016, PostalBank counted total assets of P11.66 million.

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