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BPI sees higher 2024 profit after merger with RBC

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BANK of the Philippine Islands (BPI) expects to post better earnings this year than in 2023 following its merger with Robinsons Bank Corp. (RBC), which it expects to fully integrate into its systems within two years.

“I think the merger is positive. I think in 2024, we will show more income than 2023, definitely. I’m very confident of that,” BPI President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Teodoro K. Limcaoco told reporters during the annual reception for the banking community last week.

“It will take about two years to transform all the RBC branches because you have to change the logos,… we have to change the systems, we have to move the people who are RBC accountholders and move them to BPI systems. So, our integration plan will take about two years,” Mr. Limcaoco added.

The integration process could result in increased expenses, but RBC’s expected contribution to BPI’s earnings could help offset these costs, he said.

“Obviously, there are expenses to integration, but they’re more than covered by the profitability of Robinsons Bank as a standalone. I think the business opportunities that come from the Robinsons Bank merger far outweigh the expenses,” Mr. Limcaoco added.

BPI will also be able to tap RBC’s products and clients, as well as the Gokongwei group’s suppliers and partners, he said.

The Ayala-led bank previously said it expects its net income to climb by 5-6% and its revenues to rise by around 7% as a result of its merger with RBC.

BPI saw its attributable net income grow by 33.33% year on year in the third quarter of 2023 to P13.47 billion amid higher revenues. It has yet to release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2023 results.

The merger between BPI and RBC took effect on Jan. 1, with BPI as the surviving entity.

Following the transaction, BPI has taken over RBC’s 20% stake in digital lender GoTyme Bank, a joint venture between the Gokongwei Group and Tyme, which is one of the six entities granted an online banking li-cense by the BSP.

Meanwhile, RBC’s shareholders now hold approximately 6% of the resulting outstanding capital stock of BPI.

Its shares went up by 20 centavos or 0.18% to close at P110.60 apiece on Wednesday. — AMCS