Consunji rural bank expands reach to Visayas via mergerBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY—Consunji-owned One Network Bank (ONB), which has the widest network of rural banks in Mindanao, is set to establish its presence in the Visayas through the planned merger with the Rural Bank of San Enrique (Iloilo) Inc. (RBSEI).
ONB president Alex Buenaventura and RBSEI president Arturo Muyco Jr. signed a partnership agreement providing for a stock swap, whereby a share in RBSEI will be exchanged for 2.43 shares of ONB.
The agreement will pave the way for the merger of the two banks within a year with ONB as the surviving bank upon approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The deal establishes the bank’s expansion in the Visayas through six branches of RBSEI in Iloilo City, Guimaras Island, Passi City and the towns of San Enrique and Dingle in Iloilo.
Another five branches would be added upon BSP’s approval, according to Buenaventura.
Modern banking services will be offered to rural communities served by the branches.
ONB has plans to put up new and modern branch buildings, electronic banking systems including automated teller machines, point of sale and Internet banking, bills payment, interbank and foreign remittances, online fund transfers and loans.
Buenaventura said bank clients could open an ATM account with a minimum deposit of P100.
“We want rural areas to have access to modern banking services which are underserved or unserved by commercial banks,” he said.
According to Buenaventura, Iloilo was chosen as its first expansion site because of the province’s many progressive communities outside the city that lack modern banking services.
“Banking can only grow if there is a lot of money and liquidity,” he said.
Muyco said RBSEI’s merger with ONB would stimulate the rural bank industry on Panay Island.
ONB has P2.565 billion in capital and P119.48 million in assets while RBSEI has a capital of P9.84 million.
The absorption of the RBSEI to ONB will boost the network’s branches to 98 from the current 87 branches in Mindanao with 1,206 employees and 120 automated teller machines.
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