Philippine central bank approves merger between China Bank unit and rural bank

November 28
8:52 PM 2013

The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave its approval for the merger between China Bank Savings Inc and Pampanga-based rural bank Unity Bank Inc. China Banking Corp, China Bank Savings' parent, said the merger was approved on November 21, according to Business World Online.

China Banking Corp's disclosure said the merger was approved on the condition that the transaction will be implemented within six months. The two banks are now waiting for the last regulatory approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the report said.

According to China Bank, the merger was done under the Strengthening Program for Rural Banks Plus (SPRB Plus) of the BSP. The PHP5-billion program aims to improve financial services delivery in the countryside. Under the said program, commercial, thrift, and universal banks are encouraged to rescue troubled rural and thrift banks in exchange of incentives, the report explained.

The recent merger will increase China Bank Savings' network to 90 branches, including 15 branches from Unity Bank. One of the incentives of the SPRB Plus is the granting of 24 new branch licenses in restricted locations from the BSP, Business World Online reported.

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