First OFW Bank opens in Dubai next year
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - August 22, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - State-run Land Bank of the Philippines is set to launch the first Overseas Filipino Workers Bank in Dubai in January next year, a few months behind the original target of September.

In an interview, Landbank president Alex Buenaventura said the government is planning to establish the first pilot branch of OFW Bank in Dubai in January next year.

“We will pilot this in Dubai. It seems, with how things are running, we hope to launch it in January,” Buenaventura said.

However, the bank president admitted the January target is behind the original target of September for the establishment of the OFW bank.

Aside from the Dubai branch, Buenaventura said another pilot branch in Bahrain will be opened around April next year.

“(Those are) where we will test our marketing strategy, our products, our system, and then we will see if we can compete with other giant banks there. Once we’ve developed the proper marketing mix, then we will start the rollout,” Buenaventura said.

“It might take us one year to develop the business model, so the rollout could be in 2019,” he said.

According to Buenaventura, the government plans to establish at least 25 branches of OFW Bank in countries with high concentration of Filipino workers like the US, Japan, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Buenaventura said he is currently securing the approval of the Governance Commission for government-owned and -controlled corporations and the Monetary Board for the acquisition of Philippine Postal Savings Bank, which will later be converted into OFW Bank.

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