THE Tan-led Philippine National Bank (PNB) targets to acquire a bank to further strengthen its consumer finance.
In a briefing Tuesday, PNB president and chief executive officer Jose Arnulfo Veloso said they are on the lookout for a bank that “can bring PNB to the next level”, noting that this is the trend among other financial institutions in the country.
He said PNB has a large customer base in the commercial banking space and local corporate space and most of about two-thirds of their branches are in the provinces.
“We would like to be able to have a good consumer finance business which currently is lower than industry…so if we are going to find a bank that we will be able to acquire, our focus will be a financial institution that would complement that business opportunity that we would like to develop,” he said.
Veloso said this decision was made since “the top end and large corporates are overbanked.”
He said foreign banks are now additional competitors for the large corporates after the industry’s liberalization in 2014.
“The commercial banking space will eventually be challenged and that is where PNB is very strong that is why we are putting the savings bank back into the bank to allow ourselves to have a very good cover of the consumer finance business locally and also to be able to allow our overseas Filipino customers the ability to have a referral back of consumer finance needs into the country,” he said.
He said “on a forward basis, we’ve always been interested to make the Filipino people who are taking the services of money lending investors be a business the PNB will be able to cover on a long term basis.”
He said they aim to have a joint venture with an industry expert to “be able to allow us to have the ability to understand the business, to be able to set up the proper collection and risk taking methodologies (and) to allow us to then be able to be prepared going forward.”
Veloso said they are open to having a strategic partner that will have about 20 to 25 percent share in PNB but clarified that this is not their focus right now.
Veloso said they are set to come out with a digital platform to further reach more customers both here and overseas. (PNA)
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