San Miguel unit plunks ₧5.5 billion into Bank of Commerce


SMC Equivest Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), announced on Tuesday it has invested P5.5 billion capital into Bank of Commerce mainly to have the bank’s commercial banking license upgraded to a universal banking license.

SMC Equivest said investment was made through the purchase of the bank’s preferred shares.

In particular, the firm said the net proceeds of the investment will be used to increase Bank of Commerce funding base for accelerating corporate and consumer loan growth, support capital expenditures in upgrading its banking technology, and offer a wider menu of financial services.

“We’re confident that in this time of pandemic, the banking sector will be essential to our country’s economic recovery, and will provide invaluable help both to our industries and Filipinos,” SMC President and COO and SMC Equivest Chairman and President Ramon S. Ang said.

“Bank of Commerce can help fulfill the needs of both businesses and consumers for loans and other financial services at this critical time,” Ang added. He also said the investment affirms SMC’s and SMC Equivest’s optimism and strong outlook of growth in the banking sector and their commitment to support Bank of Commerce in expanding its business prospects and advancing towards becoming a universal bank.

Apart from boosting the bank’s capacity for lending and investing, the SMC president said the capital infusion will help enable the bank to improve operational processes through automation, strengthen cybersecurity, and offer product integration with financial technology players or fintechs and other banking partners.

As of March, prior to the infusion, Bank of Commerce was the 16th largest bank in the Philippines in terms of assets and 17th in terms of capital.

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