THE acquisition by the Land Bank of the Philippines of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank has been green-lighted by the country’s anti-trust body, paving the way for the launch of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) later this month, officials told the Inquirer.
In a text message Thursday, Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Chair Arsenio M. Balisacan said they approved the transaction this week.
Under the country’s anti-trust law or Republic Act No. 10667, all merger and acquisition transactions worth P1 billion and above must first be approved by the PCC.
Last December, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ policymaking Monetary Board approved the state-run lender’s application to acquire Postbank.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III told reporters Thursday , that the OFB’s headquarters in Liwasang Bonifacio would be launched on Jan. 18.
Landbank president Alex V. Buenaventura earlier told the Inquirer that the OFB would be launched either on Feb. 19 or 20, the two dates given by President Duterte as options based on his availability.
In October, President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 44, creating the OFB.
Under EO 44, the Philippine Postal Corp., which owns Postbank, and the Bureau of Treasury were ordered to transfer their shares of the thrift bank to Landbank at zero value.
Landbank was also ordered to infuse capital to the OFB.
The President earlier promised to create a bank dedicated to the needs of overseas Filipino workers.
Dominguez had said the soon-to-be opened OFB would be open to all Filipinos abroad, whether they are already immigrants or just contract workers.