PBCom secures license to operate as a universal bank | Inquirer Business

PBCom secures license to operate as a universal bank

By: - Business Features Editor / @philbizwatcher
/ 05:24 AM February 05, 2022

Retail tycoon Lucio Co-led Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) has obtained a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to upgrade its operations to that of a universal bank (unibank).

The unibank license allows PBCOM to invest in nonallied enterprises and offer more products and services than what are allowed under a regular commercial banking license.

“We are proud and thankful for this privilege to be a universal bank. Our steady growth the past years beginning with the entry of the Lucio Co group has been noteworthy. We now have a solid capital base form, which we can expand our banking services in order to serve the needs of our valued customers,” Eric Recto, chair of PBCOM, said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.


“We, the shareholders and management of PBCOM, are all excited about this new chapter in our history and would like to give our thanks to the BSP for having guided us through this journey,” he added.


PBCOM, which was founded in Binondo in 1939, operates 95 branches across the country.

With total resources of about P109 billion, it ranks 19th out of the country’s 46 universal and commercial banks, based on BSP data as of end-September 2021.

17th largest lender

It has about P66 billion worth of loans, making it the country’s 17th largest lender.

The stock market values PBCOM at around P8.87 billion at present.

Under the BSP’s rules, a unibank can operate as an investment house and own up to 100 percent of equity in a thrift bank, a rural bank, a financial allies enterprise or a nonfinancial allied enterprise. Furthermore, publicly listed unibanks are allowed to own up to 100 percent of the voting stock of one other unibank or commercial bank.

A unibank may perform the functions of an investment house either directly or indirectly through a subsidiary. In either case, the underwriting of equity securities and securities dealing will be subject to pertinent laws and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.


If the investment house functions are performed directly by the unibank, such functions will be undertaken by a separate and distinct department or other similar unit in the bank, provided, further, that a unibank cannot perform such functions both directly and indirectly through a subsidiary.

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TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom)

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