EastWest gets nod to merge with Green Bank
Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) has cleared the proposed merger of EastWest Banking Corp. and Green Bank (A Rural Bank) Inc. (GBI).

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, EastWest Bank said PDIC approved the merger of the two banks, with EastWest as the surviving entity.

EastWest, a universal bank owned by the Gotianun family, is planning to use the Caraga-based Green Bank as its tool to widen its presence in Mindanao.

“Once we have already strengthened our presence in Mindanao through Green Bank, that is the time we will invade Luzon,” EastWest president and CEO Antonio Moncupa said.

He said the strategy would be focused on getting into the rural banking business and serve the unbanked areas in the country.

“We are growing very fast. That’s the law of competition. We are preparing an invasion from Mindanao to Luzon. We are training our ground forces,” he said.

He said they are already doing all the necessary preparations to step up their rural bank operations.

“We have to make ready our systems, our audit, our infrastructure and everything else that goes with it. We have to man the people here. We have to look for signs. We have to put up more branches,” he said.

“It’s going to be easy for us to expand in other areas because we have started with Green Bank. We are getting bigger. Green Bank almost has P4 billion to P5 billion resources,” he said.

In 2006, EastWest bought P750 million worth of shares in Green Bank, which has 46 branches.

In June 2012, EastWest’s board approved the purchase of 100 percent stake worth P120 million in Finman Rural Bank Inc. located in Pasig City.

EastWest has been on the acquisition mode to boost its consumer lending business.

In 2009, it acquired the consumer finance units of AIG bundled into AIG Philam Savings Bank. In 2003, it also bought Ecology Savings Bank Inc.

A RURAL BANK ANTONIO MONCUPA BANK BANKING CORP EASTST EASTWEST ECOLOGY SAVINGS BANK INC FINMAN RURAL BANK INC GREEN BANK MINDANAO
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