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PNB to absorb thrift bank unit PNB Savings

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PHILIPPINE National Bank (PNB) said it will consolidate its thrift unit within its commercial bank operation, widening its exposure to retail and small business clients.

In a filing Friday, PNB said it will be fully integrating its wholly-owned PNB Savings Bank into the parent company, acquiring its assets and assuming its liabilities for cash.

The merger is to be approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Bureau of the Internal Revenue.

“Our bank’s consumer lending business, which is being operated through PNB Savings, will benefit fom the parent bank’s ability to efficiently raise low-cost funds,” PNB President Reynaldo A. Maclang was quoted as saying in the statement.

In particular, the acquisition will help PNB deliver a “more efficient banking experience” by serving a wider customer base.

The deal also gives clients of PNB Savings Bank access to PNB’s portfolio of financial solutions, Mr. Maclang added.

The merger will also expand the parent lender’s branch network to 707 locations from 644 as of end-August.

“The integration effectively enhances our competitive stance in the consumer and [small and medium enterprise] segments,” added Mr. Maclang.

Individual borrowers and small businesses are deemed riskier but higher-yielding segments compared with corporate clients.

On Tuesday, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) announced it will absorb the operations of its subsidiary RCBC Savings Bank to help it better comply with Basel 3 liquidity standards.

Higher capital and liquidity requirements take effect next year, in line with the global standards imposed on big banks.

In a separate disclosure, PNB said it will sell its subsidiaries Bulawan Mining Corp. and PNB Management and Development Corp. to MacroAsia Mining Corp.

PNB, the country’s fifth-biggest bank, booked a net profit of P3.97 billion in the second quarter, more than double the year-earlier level.

PNB Savings Bank was the seventh-largest thrift bank in the country in asset terms at P54.07 billion at the end of March.

PNB shares declined 0.1% to P43 in Friday trading. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal