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EastWest prepares for digital shift

/ 12:46 AM April 22, 2017

The Gotianun family’s EastWest Banking Corp. is ready to weather any top management transition—with its CEO, Antonio Moncupa Jr., among those in the shortlist for the position of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor—while preparing for its own shift into digital banking.

Moncupa spoke with reporters at the sidelines of EastWest Bank’s annual meeting Friday, sharing plans to soon launch a mobile app for clients, while addressing speculation about heading the BSP after current governor, Amando Tetangco Jr., ends his second term on July 3, 2017.

“In EastWest, there are enough executives and it is a bank that was built on processes. It’s not dependent on a single person,” said Moncupa, who has held the position of CEO since 2007.

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Moncupa early this year won the endorsement of President Duterte’s PDP-Laban political party. Tetangco’s successor, however, has yet to be formally named. East West announced last month that Roberto Reyes would be president and deputy-CEO, while Moncupa would assume the role of vice chair on May 1, 2017.

Moncupa told reporters Friday the bank was evaluating its digital strategy.

It had sought the BSP’s approval to launch a mobile app that would allow clients to conduct certain banking transactions over their phones and on the go.

“We need to have a good mobile banking platform,” Moncupa said, noting the app was being tested “internally” by the company. “Mobile is the future.”

Technology solutions come to the fore as Moncupa believes EastWest Bank has almost enough physical branches to serve the country.

EastWest Bank ended 2016 with 445 branches, including those of its rural bank subsidiary, its annual report showed.

Improving client convenience and access via technology were important for a bank that has built a strong business catering to the consumer market, a strategy it would keep in the meantime, Moncupa said.

“We believe that strategy will hold and withstand any situation for the bank,” he said, while noting EastWest Bank would be ready to take advantage of trading opportunities as these emerge. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS

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TAGS: Antonio Moncupa Jr., digital banking, EastWest Banking Corp.
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