‘Ready’ for merger opportunities

AS the country becomes more attractive to foreign banks, the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) is ready for merger and acquisition opportunities with international banks by 2020, said a key official.

PVB chairman Roberto de Ocampo said the commercial bank is in the process of stregthening its financial capacities and rebranding the bank’s image.

“The first order of the day is to make it (PVB) financially strong. We should be ready before this decade ends,” said de Ocampo, in an interview at the sidelines of the bank’s renovated branch in Tipolo, Mandaue City.

De Ocampo said strengthening the bank also includes strengthening its image. PVB has allocated P80 million for its rebranding efforts since last year, which include branch renovation and advertisements, spread over a two-year period.

“There is a perception that the Philippine Veterans Bank is a government bank run by generals and retired military personnel and we want to correct this image. It was narrowly perceived as a specialized bank for one constituency,” the official said, who was a former finance secretary.

Contrary to general notion, PVB is a commercial bank and competes with the other universal and commercial banks in delivering banking and financial services to both corporate and retail markets.

Uniquely, however, it is the only bank allowed under Republic Act 7169 (Section 6) to lend and accept deposits of national and local government units (LGUs), as a grateful gesture of the nation’s appreciation for the service of World War II veterans.

With the rebranding efforts, de Ocampo said the bank has observed a wider client base and an increase in its loan portfolio.

Presently, PVB has 60 branches, two of which are in Cebu. One is on Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City and the other is in Tipolo, Mandaue City.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ranks PVB as the 23rd universal and commercial bank out of the 41 with the highest total assets of P53 billion as of the first quarter of 2016.
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