Landbank seeks GCG OK of Postbank acquisition

The Land Bank of the Philippines is firming up its acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank), as it seeks approval of the transaction from the body overseeing state-run corporations.

Landbank president Alex V. Buenaventura told the Inquirer Friday that the purchase agreement will be presented to the Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GCG) next week.

Under Republic Act No. 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act of 2011, the GCG can merge, reorganize or streamline as well as abolish or privatize state corporations.

Landbank wanted to secure from the GCG an endorsement to Malacañang for President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval, Buenaventura said.

In March, Buenaventura said Landbank’s acquisition of Postbank will be completed by the end of September.

Landbank will acquire 100 percent of Postbank, including the 57-percent equity of also state-run Philippine Postal Corp. on top of the national government’s share, Buenaventura had said.

According to Buenaventura, Postbank will be renamed either “OFW Bank” or “Bank for OFWs” to serve overseas Filipino workers’ banking needs.

“We will be setting up ‘OFW centers’—we’re preparing for the piloting of the OFW center in Dubai,” Buenaventura had disclosed.

“The OFW center will serve as the representative office of the future OFW Bank or Bank for OFWs, with the first one to be piloted simultaneously with the completion of our acquisition [of Postbank] by the end of September,” Buenaventura had said.

Buenaventura had clarified that the OFW centers will not be bank branches but “service centers that will serve the banking requirement of OFWs.”

“OFW Bank will run the OFW centers, that’s the plan,” Buenaventura had explained, adding that the pilot OFW center will be located within the Philippine consulate in Dubai.

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