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Singapore bank ends thrift operations.

Byline: Ben O. de Vera

The former domestic thrift bank arm of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOBL) has shifted into non-bank operations.

In a Feb. 29 circular letter, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. noted that the Monetary Board last August approved UOBL's request to convert United Overseas Bank Philippines (UOBP) into a non-bank subsidiary.

Last December, UOBP Collections Inc., the new non-bank arm, was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Espenilla disclosed.

Hence, UOBP ended operations as a thrift bank last Jan. 1, the BSP official said.

UOBL is one of the six Asian banks that the BSP had allowed to operate in the country under Republic Act No. 10641, which allows the full entry of foreign banks.

Besides UOBL, the five other foreign lenders were Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.; South Korea's Shinhan Bank and Industrial Bank of Korea; and Taiwan's Cathay United Bank and Yuanta Commercial Bank Co. Ltd.

Espenilla last January said the application of another Asian bank to establish operations here was pending with the BSP.

Separately, the BSP also in January issued a certificate of authority to operate as a rural bank to Katipunan Bank Inc., the entity formed following the consolidation of Katipunan Bank (Zamboanga del Norte) Inc. and Bangko Rural ng Tagoloan (Misamis Oriental) Inc.

Katipunan Bank began to operate as a consolidated rural bank last Feb. 1, the BSP said in a circular letter dated Feb. 24.

In a text message, Espenilla said this consolidation was under the continuing Strengthening Program for Rural Banks (SPRB)-Plus.

Espenilla earlier said the BSP was looking at modifying the SPRB-Plus to complement the new scheme under the Consolidation Program for Rural Banks or CPRB.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 4, 2016
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