MANILA, Philippines - Japan's SBI Holdings is partnering with Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) to provide online banking services in the Philippines.
In a statement on Monday, SBI Holdings said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with RCBC, the Yuchengco group's banking arm.
"Based on the agreed strategic alliance, in the Philippines, the Yuchengco Group and the SBI Group will build wide range of collaboration and provide a variety of retail online financial services such as banking, securities, insurance, etc., through the integration of customer base of RCBC and the Yuchengco Group, and 15 years of know-how and experience in online financial services of the SBI Group," SBI Holdings said.
SBI is betting the growing middle class in the Philippines will spur demand for more banking and investment options.
Also, the Japanese company said the strategic alliance would also consider possible cooperation in business activities among the ASEAN Economic Community, which is scheduled to be launched this year.
Under the memorandum, the two groups will collaborate on the following:
Provision of various retail online financial services such as banking, securities, insurance, etc;
Overseas remittance-related business;
Cross-selling of Philippines and Japanese equities toward retail customers; and
Sales of health foods and cosmetics products using 5-aminolevulinic acid.
Reuters last week reported at least seven Asian banks are keen on opening offices or starting lending operations in the Philippines. This after the Philippines removed caps on foreign banks.
Last February, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas approved the application of a unit of Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. to open a branch in Manila, the first foreign bank given approval under the new provisions.