Gokongwei group, UnionBank plan to launch own digital banks: BSP

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2021 11:11 AM

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MANILA - The Gokongwei Group and UnionBank of the Philippines have also applied for digital banking licenses under the new framework of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno said Monday.

Currently, Singapore-based UnoBank, neobank Tonik and the OF (Overseas Filipino) Bank have secured digital banking licenses from the BSP. 

The BSP recently launched the digital bank category. It plans to approve just 5 licenses for the initial phase.

In an interview with ANC, Diokno said there were 4 more pending applications including one from the Gokongwei group and from UnionBank. 

"We’re expediting the processing. We’re very excited about this because this is part of our digitalization program," he said. 

The Gokongwei group has interests in real estate, airlines, food and beverage as well as brick and mortar banking, among others. 

UnionBank, meanwhile, has been ramping up its digitalization efforts even before the pandemic.

Onboarding clients is easier and at least 80 percent cheaper with digital banking, Diokno said. Digital banks can also help the BSP achieve its digitalization goals, he added.

The BSP said it could reach its goal of digitalizing at least 50 percent of transactions and encourage 70 percent of Filipinos to own financial accounts by end of 2022.

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