Regulators to approve entry of CIMB Group

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Malaysia’s CIMB Group will be allowed to establish a bank in the Philippines before the end of the year.

Highly placed sources told reporters that the universal bank’s application to put up a local branch would soon be approved by the Monetary Board.

“The approval is on track within the year,” a source said.

CIMB in January said it had file an application with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in line with plans to expand to the Philippines.


Kuala Lumpur-headquartered CIMB describes itself as one of largest investment banks in Asia and one of the largest Islamic banks in the world.

It is the fifth-largest banking group in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations with some 39,000 staff working in 15 countries. Its retail banking network of over 900 branches serves more than 12 million customers.

Republic Act (RA) 10641, approved by Congress in July 2014, further liberalized the entry of foreign banks in line with Southeast Asia’s economic integration plans.

From 60 percent under RA 7721, the new law allowed foreign banks own up to 100 percent of an existing local bank or a new subsidiary, among others.

The Monetary Board has to date approved the local operations of 10 foreign banks, half of which are from Taiwan: Chang Hwa Bank Commercial Bank Ltd., Cathay United Bank, Yuanta Commercial Bank, First Commercial Bank, and Hua Nan Commercial Bank Ltd.

The others are South Korea’s Woori Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea and Shinhan Bank; Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd.; and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

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