Ayala-led BPI inches closer to merger with Robinsons Bank as PCC clears the way

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has given its clearance to the proposed merger between the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), controlled by the Ayala family, and Gokongwei-led Robinsons Bank Corp., marking a significant stride towards their anticipated union.

In a disclosure submitted to the stock exchange, BPI announced its ongoing efforts to secure the requisite approvals from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Securities and Exchange Commission for the merger.

“The timetable for implementation of the merger cannot be fixed at this time as the same is subject to regulatory approvals,” BPI said.

Previously, BPI president TG Limcaoco had expressed aspirations to finalize the merger by the first quarter of next year, aligning with the Ayala-led bank’s ambitious objective of expanding its customer base to 50 million by 2027.

“We will bring them in through the traditional channels, the branches and traditional products like deposits, credit cards, and through usual channels. We’re making a big push to acquire digitally,” he said.

As part of its ongoing rationalization program, BPI has already reduced its branch network from over 860 locations to 752, a move in preparation for the forthcoming merger with Robinsons Bank.

Upon the successful culmination of the merger, the Gokongwei family’s JG Summit Holdings will hold over 10 percent of BPI shares, solidifying its position as the bank’s second-largest stockholder, trailing only the Ayala Group.