Union Bank prepares workforce for ‘jobs of the future’

Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines is seeking to transition hundreds of workers within two years into jobs of the future, enabled by its shift to Artificial Intelligence and blockchain technology, which is the platform behind cryptocurrenices.

Union Bank—which is making bold bets in these areas alongside the transition of some its brick and mortar branches into technology-focused outlets it calls Arks—is also targeting to lower costs and increase profitability.


Its cost-to-income ratio, at a below-industry average of 50 percent, is expected to fall to 40 percent, said Union Bank president and CEO Edwin Bautista.

“I am looking at another 18 months to achieve that 40 percent,” Bautista said on the sidelines of the company’s annual meeting on Friday. “If we achieve that, we have a fatter margin.”


He said Union Bank had been using AI and shifting internal processes to its blockchain application. He promised that jobs will not be lost, only old processes, as workers upgrade their skill sets.

“I will retool people from their existing jobs,” Bautista said. “I will given them first crack at other jobs. There are many coming out, from design, programming, sales and digital marketing.”

The shift would affect those in the company’s operations, or 1,500 workers. Bautista said a third of those workers would need to transition to new roles in the next 24 months.

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