Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the largest lenders in terms of assets, will launch its digital bank subsidiary UnionDigital next month, a top executive said Tuesday.
UnionBank financial technology group head Erika Dizon said in an online briefing Union Digital Bank will open in July, a year after securing a license to operate from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“This July 2022, it [UnionDigital] is going to hit the ground running… We are hoping the digital bank to be a big contributor in our bottomline,” Dizon said.
The BSP on July 15, 2021 approved the application of Union Bank for an authority to establish a digital bank. The digital bank was incorporated as Union Digital Bank, making UnionBank the first publicly-listed Philippine bank to be granted a digital banking license by the BSP.
UnionBank president and chief executive Edwin Bautista earlier said the digital bank would be the principal vehicle for UnionBank, “to service and support the lower end of the market—the unbanked. This is our vehicle for inclusive prosperity.”
Bautista said the digital bank approach allows UnionBank to create a digital bank from scratch, providing an environment where new technologies can be developed using the best technology available.
Dizon said in the briefing that about a million customers of UnionBank were linked to its digital banking platforms.
Dizon said, “we will not stop there” on expectations the number of customers linked to its digital banking platforms would double to 2 million by end-2022.
UnionBank posted a 9-percent year-on-year increase in net income in 2021 to P12.6 billion, driven by the strength of its core businesses. This translated into an above-industry return on equity of 12.0 percent.
Net revenues reached an all-time high of P45.1 billion, up 7 percent year-on-year. Net interest income grew 4 percent to P29.8 billion on sustained increase in net interest margins which went up by 9 basis points to 4.6 percent.
The bank’s total assets hit P831.1 billion as of end-2021, up by 7 percent from end-2020. Loans and receivables also rose 6 percent year-on-year to P359.8 billion.
Total deposits increased 8 percent to P570.5 billion.