Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers

AFP PHOTO/ROMEO GACAD

By Ben O. De Vera/inquirer.net – Soon-to-be opened Overseas Filipino Bank will cater to all Filipinos overseas, whether they are immigrants or contract workers, the Department of Finance said.

The bank’s wide coverage will make it “more inclusive,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement.

Among the key features of Overseas Filipino Bank are the remittance service for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and a loan program for overseas Filipinos planning to return to the Philippines and start businesses or build homes, Dominguez said.

Also, Land Bank of the Philippines and the Bureau of the Treasury are exploring ways to mobilize the savings of overseas-based Filipinos to enable them to invest in the capital markets, he added.

“Loans for house repair and education of the beneficiaries here, as well as direct remittances to schools, these were discussed with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and he seems very happy about the service we would be providing,” he said.

Earlier, Landbank president Alex V. Buenaventura told the Inquirer that the establishment of Overseas Filipino Bank would push through in January as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas could fast-track the approval of the state-run lender’s acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank).

Buenaventura said Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. had told him that it was possible to secure the Monetary Board’s approval before the end of this year.

In its application to acquire Postbank, Landbank sought the approval of the planned bank’s P1-billion authorized capital, of which P700 million would be common shares and P300 million would be reclassified into preferred shares to be offered to OFWs.

The launch of Overseas Filipino Bank will push through in January, Buenaventura said.
By April, the bank will open its first representative office in Dubai, he added. —

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