RCBC to Set Up Digital Bank Following US$ 90.5 Million Investment by Japan’s SMBC

RCBC to Set Up Digital Bank Following US$ 90.5 Million Investment by Japan’s SMBC

by June 30, 2021

The Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC), a Japanese multinational banking and financial services institution, announced that it is set to acquire a 4.99% stake in the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) in a deal worth US$90.5 million (JPY 10 billion).

This move is part of SMBC’s strategy to expand its franchise and strengthen digital banking in Asia.

Eugene Acevedo, President, and CEO of RCBC, confirmed with the press that they intend to set up a digital banking arm and double down on tech investments with this capital injection.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has so far granted three digital bank licenses to the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank) which is a subsidiary of LANDBANK, UNObank and Tonik.

The Japanese financial group views the Philippines as one of its important markets and has been expanding its presence in the country through the opening of SMBC Manila Branch and other related initiatives.

Through this investment, SMBC will contribute to RCBC’s growth by leveraging its know-how and business expertise, and while also enhancing its own businesses and presence in the Philippines through collaboration with RCBC.

SMBC is also eying an expansion of its operations to Indonesia while pursuing opportunities in other Asian markets including Philippines, Vietnam and India.

Reuters reported last year that SMBC conceded defeat to Thailand’s Bangkok Bank in a bidding war for mid-sized lender PT Bank Permata.

The group had previously acquired PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk in 2019 which was then renamed to PT Bank BTPN Tbk.